Three white houses with a sea view
Tommy Della Frana
Claudio Angelucci - Edgardo Toso Srl
Commissioned to design a residential complex called Residence Lido Riccio in Ortona, a seaside town in the province of Chieti in Italy’s central-southern Abruzzo region, architect Claudio Angelucci was asked to create a simple building with a strong personality that would avoid both the prevailing vernacular style and the banality of anonymous coastal developments. He rose to the challenge with a project that won an honourable mention in the Ceramics and Design competition, presented at an award ceremony held on 4 July.
The site chosen for the complex is located just 200 metres from the sea in Lido Riccio near Ortona, a well-known seaside resort and the Abruzzo region’s main sea port. Despite the pleasant location, the project was further complicated by the presence of both the S.S.16 «Adriatica» main coastal road and the railway line separating the site from the sea. Claudio Angelucci was brought into the project after the owners had been left disappointed by a previous design. «After an initial vernacular style project proposed by local architects, we were asked to put forward a new solution that would mark a clean break from the anonymous architecture typical of the area. Unlike the first solution, we rejected a series of stylistic conventions associated with the prevailing but entirely imaginary regional Abruzzese style, a kind of invented tradition. While popular amongst local administrations and tolerated by the architectural heritage offices, this style often hides appalling cases of real estate speculation and is a far cry from the kind of architecture we believe to be most suited to this stretch of coastline.» The result is «a Mediterranean architecture consisting of white shapes and simple geometries.» The new 18-home complex, consisting of three linear volumes based on residential building archetypes, looks out over the sea while emerging clearly from the heterogeneous architectural context. «We decided to design the complex so that it would be facing the sea and to position the buildings in the higher area to the rear of the site,» explained the architect. «This would make the most of the splendid view» and avoid being right next to the road and railway line. Cotto d’Este Kerlite tiles were chosen for the exterior cladding and in some cases for the interiors, as well as for part of the external rear paving. The sizes range from 50×100 cm to 5×100 cm for the strips used on the façade, while the chosen colours were ultrawhite, snow and Kerlite Buxi cendre. The decision to cover the exteriors of the buildings with tiles «was dictated by the adverse climatic conditions of the coastal location and the need to avoid expensive continuous maintenance work on the walls». In short, the decision was determined by both reason and sentiment.
Cotto d'Este, Kerlite and Kerlite Buxy
Ultrawhite, Snow, Cendre
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): compliant
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): compliant