The villa designed by Westway Architects as a buen retiro for a Milanese family is like a sculpture of specific volumes on a high plateau overlooking the Vendicari Nature Reserve, a few kilometers from Noto. The building, with a ground level and a basement, is composed of three parts connected by a passageway, with different functions: on the ground floor, the largest block contains the living area and two small bedroom zones, while the corridor hosts a kitchen, a staircase, services, niches and wardrobes; the basement is set aside for technical spaces and a garage.
Linked to the landscape
The construction has been conceived to establish a constant bond with the surroundings. While the western façade, with the main entrance, is introverted and marked by openings resembling the loopholes in the outer walls of rural structures (bagghiu, in Sicilian, is a typical defensive construction) protecting the hearth, the eastern front opens nonchalantly to the countryside with large expanses of glass: the big windows of the rooms, like the openings in the circulation space, allow natural light to enter while framing magnificent views of the landscape, which enters every space as a co-protagonist of life in the home.
Essential and elegant
Nature has been prioritized in the entire architectural design: the main volume incorporates and almost embraces a large strawberry tree in an internal patio, suggesting a symbolic contamination between nature and artifice, in a situation of mutual respect. The composition is organized with an essential, elegant style, reconciling contemporary tastes with features of the local constructive tradition. The three volumes are clad in luminous Noto stone, while the external paving is in darker Modica stone. The longitudinal connection stands out from the main buildings thanks to its lower height and the brown stucco finish in contrast with the immaculate volumes, almost suggesting a tree branch that penetrates into the geometric construction.
A family environment
The interiors have a sober, refined style, which with the warmth of the wooden flooring and the material textures of furnishings and finishes creates a welcoming, familiar environment. Many items of the décor, including tables, sofas and wardrobes, have been custom designed by Westway Architects, and utilize the typical materials of the local countryside. The roofing, with its system of pitches, can be partially used as domestic space, accessed by means of a staircase that functions as a joint of spatial organization between the living room and the pergola: the roof offers other views of the surroundings, a constantly changing landscape emotion amidst the olive trees.
Project Westway Architects - Photos Andrea Martiradonna