Under a Californian sun
DI Group Architecture
Winner of the residential category of the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition 2019, the project for the Valley Vista Home in Encino, California stood out for its highly aesthetic use of Italian ceramic tile, the quality of installation and the excellence of the overall design. The award marked an important recognition for the architects from DI Group Inc., a practice based in the County of Los Angeles whose style is marked by a minimalist contemporary design blending Italian taste with Californian appeal.
«Encino is a neighbourhood in the San Fernando Valley region of northwest Los Angeles County,» says DI Group. «Most residents come from a privileged socioeconomic background. They are highly educated and in terms of architecture tend to choose large, luxury homes with prevalently contemporary Spanish style interior design. The Encino neighbourhood is enjoying great success, it is very popular and the new housing is helping to bring it in line with the famous up-market areas of Bel Air and Beverly Hills. The Valley Vista project is part of this overall residential vision.»
With its elegant, contemporary design, the villa extends over two levels with large open-plan spaces and generous windows that flood the interiors with natural light and offer views of the surrounding landscape. The entire living area looks out onto the swimming pool located in the internal garden. One of the challenges facing the project was to find the right owner, someone who would appreciate its stylistic and functional qualities. According to the architects, along with its high-quality standards and timeless aesthetics, Valley Vista Home would also have to meet or adapt to the everyday practical needs of its inhabitants. So «during the design process, we took account of various lifestyles so as to be able to accommodate families or owners with different needs and from different cultural backgrounds», noted DI Group.
The decision to make extensive use of ceramic tile, Italian-made products in particular, was based on the consideration that its elegance and design are ideally suited to the vibrant taste and atmosphere of California. «The high standards and quality of the Italian producers prompt clients to be more proactive in their choices compared to other ceramic tiles and they feel reassured,» noted the architects. For the flooring in the living room, dining room and kitchen, the choice fell on Refin’s Wide Steel collection, while Wide Steel Strutturato was used for the outdoor spaces. Along with Wide Steel, the surfaces chosen for the bathrooms were Wood2 Dust Muretto, Design Industry Raw Shadow Light and Oxyde Dark, Arte Pura Trame Pietra, Graffiti, and Plant Rope. These solutions lend character and personality to the various spaces, authentic salles d’eau devoted to wellness and personal care. The choice of linear furnishings with a personal style and the installation of sculpture-like designer lights determine the character of the interiors.
The villa complies with all Californian environmental certifications, including CAL Green, a specific Californian code for water saving and promotion of environmentally responsible, economically viable and healthy places for living and working. Ceramic tile was also chosen for its eco-friendly qualities and to help insulate the building. The architects decided to adopt a pale colour palette throughout the home that would fit in with the region’s hot, dry and sunny climate.