The renovation of a rural house in volcanic stone, immersed in a natural setting

A poetic and material project by the architect Giovanni Lauda for his own buen retiro in Sicily, on the fascinating, uncontaminated island of Linosa.


The house made of lavic stone, at the foot of an extinct volcano, stands inside a nature reserve. The renovation and expansion of the existing rural structure matches the materials, technologies and typologies of the island.


The renovation work has been done entirely by hand, without mechanical means, recycling stones taken from demolition and reproducing the simplicity of the original construction.

The rural building, a single nucleus that was gradually expanded over the years, is formed by three aligned volumes placed side by side, now joined by the new volume of the bathroom.

The terrace, once used as an accessway for the three rooms, is now an outdoor living area. The embankment in front of the house now hosts a guestroom and an underground water tank, which blend into the terrain and the stone walls.

The cubical volumes with flat roofs are in exposed stone or finished with lime, like the existing ruin. In the past, on the facades most exposed to weathering were finished in stucco, due to the lack of available materials.

The coated walls have been painted yellow, and are framed by the typical white fasce, a distinctive feature of all the houses on the island. The windows and doors, in wood, are mounted flush with the inside of the walls for a traditional chiaroscuro effect.

The house is immersed in greenery: capers, carob trees, succulents, hibiscus, frangipane, as well as spontaneous native vegetation.

The surroundings bear witness to a rural past, as in the circular clearing for the processing of cereals and legumes, or the cistern with its system for gathering rainwater.

The custom furnishings replicate the lively colors of the boats of local fishermen.