Type of project
2018 – in progress
Travertine Corten Steel Water Landscape Geometry Glass Virus Interior
Gae del Rio
A small, compact rural stone unit within an area suspended between woodlands and olive trees, with the taste of the sea on the horizon, is the backdrop to this restoration and extension project on the land of a small farm in the area surrounding Volterra.
The rocky outcrops and stones scattered over the hilly terrain inspired the concept of extending the small structure, as well as the material and technological approach used to construct the substructures of the underground levels.
In fact, the loose stones become the structure, clearly carving out the two newly-constructed prismatic monoliths, which are joined to the existing unit through transparent connectors in cor-ten steel and glass. The stones frame the height difference between the building and the space designated for parking at the lower levels in a play of chiaroscuro, reflecting a traditional usage in these regions.
The sharpness of the lines that define the composition is accompanied by the dramatic shadows generated in this open agricultural space bordered by woodland. The three buildings are encircled by a stone carpet that also guides guests to the deep, infinity swimming pool.
The travertine-clad metaphysical extensions, with roofs featuring internal steel gutters, face in two directions; one offers a view of the swimming pool while the other frames the olive grove. Each panorama is visible through a cor-ten steel bow window jutting outwards from the stone surface.
The garden is an additional protagonist in this material narrative that accompanies the passage between the various facets within the property, along the north-south axis, and defines a sinuous bank of river pebbles that house groups of rigid metal and travertine lines in the opposite direction.
The bank of pebbles and herbaceous plants, extending into a beach strewn with large rounded rocks beside the pool, comes alive from the end of winter to the end of summer with mid-height shrubs in varying longitudinal colours. The green and grey shades of the leaves also vary along with the blooms.