Inside and outside
Roberto di Stefano
To explore this project we have to travel a long way south, down the whole length of Italy to Ragusa in southern Sicily. „It is one of the southernmost cities in Italy, located on one of Sicily’s three capes,“ explains Roberto Di Stefano, the Milanese architect who was commissioned to carry through the remodelling project. The owners wanted to create a holiday home from an old house set amongst a group of single-family homes on the coast. The approximately 100 square metre house is surrounded by a small garden with a swimming pool and is enclosed by a hedge for privacy. It is an ideal location for enjoying life both indoors and out. The interiors are specially designed to optimise the use of space and to create bright, airy rooms. The living area merges with the outdoor veranda by means of two large sliding glass doors that help create the impression of a single unified space. The kitchen area is designed to meet the client’s request for maximum functionality together with an elegantly furnished space completely open to view. A small hallway connects the living area to the sleeping quarters, consisting of two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The first of the two double bedrooms is conceived as a kind of hotel suite and has a large walk-in closet leading to the bathroom. Here too the style is minimalistic. The large washbasin (Acquagrande from Ceramica Flaminia) mounted on a dark wood vanity unit contrasts with the minimalist floors and walls. The same solution is adopted on a smaller scale in the other bathroom. An essential style reigns throughout the house. White is dominant, as if to compensate for the overly vivid colours of the surrounding natural environment. „The risk of an excess of neutrality is avoided by the choice of décor and finishings,“ explained the architect. „There is a predominance of natural tones, shades of beige, sand, hemp and white. The wood colours range from the dark tones of oak for the custom furnishings through to the pale shades of bleached elm for the furniture in the living room. Ethnic furnishings are used in the bedrooms and the living room.“ But it is the outdoor space that really comes into its own during the summer months. The covered patio, with its exposed beams and white architectural finishes and décor, overlooks the swimming pool area, which likewise stands out for the meticulous choice of materials. Architech ceramic tiles from Floor Gres and Greenwood from Cerim were adopted for the swimming pool surround decking due to their unique natural colours and their technical properties of toughness, slip resistance and content of recycled material. The large glass panels divide up the spaces without separating them. The interiors merge with the outdoor space, creating a sensation of continuity between inside and out, an unconfined space for living life to the full.