Private residence - Norwich, CA (USA)

A Californian villa with sails

Located between Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, this villa is flooded by light inside and out
Laura Maggi
Courtesy of DI Group
Jamie Rezaie & Alex Vance (DI Group) + Robert York Crockett
Year of completion

«The concept behind the Norwich project for this single-family residence was inevitably dictated by the unusual shape of the terrain available for construction, a triangular area on the borderline between Beverly Hills and West Hollywood,» explains Jamie Rezaie, architect and managing partner of DI Group, who were responsible for all phases of design and construction. «We had to develop a design that was ergonomically and attractively suited to the triangular shape of the site. The result was an unusual three-sided construction with tilting walls intended to reflect the basic form in the different areas of the house. It took our entire team years of hard work to finalise everything. The details were designed and re-designed many times until we found a solution that was both harmonious and functional.» The highly successful design is accentuated by green walls around a garden that is flanked on one side by an extensive open-air relaxation area with a ribbon-shaped swimming pool.
The architect and his team chose to install large windows, patio doors and skylights in various parts of the villa, which has two floors linked by a projecting indoor staircase to create bright, sunny rooms. «With so many glass openings running from floor to ceiling and wall to wall on all sides of the villa,» the designer continues, «we needed to find a way to create shade and privacy. We came up with the idea of creating vertical ‘sails’ made from sheets of aluminium to add originality and character to the outside of the building. We also wanted to create an interior in which the owners could hang works of art on the walls and also receive and entertain friends. We therefore tried to design spacious indoor environments linked with the outdoors to achieve In & Out continuity.»
In its key features, the design resembles the prow of a big ship. The minimalist interior and exterior are both characterised by a decidedly neutral colour palette for the wall coverings, doors, windows and furnishings. A strategic use is made of colour to accentuate the home’s original character and personality.
The design received an honourable mention in the Residential category at the 25th edition of the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition, which promotes the innovative use of Italian tile in North American architecture and design. The competition is sponsored by Confindustria Ceramica (the association of Italian ceramic tile manufacturers) and by ICE (the Italian Trade Agency).
To maximise the illumination provided by the villa’s numerous windows, the floor was finished in light, neutral tiles by Ceramiche Refin, which reflect the natural light and create an impression of space. The District Garage Marble collection was chosen for all the villa’s floors. One outdoor wall is covered un Special colour Barrique and a balcony in Larix Shade to emphasise the versatility of Ceramiche Refin materials.

Refin - District, Larix and Barrique series
porcelain stoneware
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): compliant
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): compliant
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