Houzz Tour: In Sicily, a Rural Villa Celebrates Minimalism
Organic architecture and streamlined aesthetics help this house blend into its environment
Houzz at a glance
Who lives here: Guglielmo Parasporo, creator of the home rental website Cities Reference, and his wife, Elena del Drago, an art critic
Location: Noto, in Siracusa province, next to the Vendicari nature reserve on the Italian island of Sicily
Size: 2,690 square feet (250 square meters)
Architect: Mario Cutuli
The design of this home is a contemporary and innovative interpretation of the principles of organic architecture, inspired by the sinuous shapes of the nearby Hyblaean Mountains. The home is divided into three wings: three irregular polygons with rounded corners and slightly sloping walls. It serves as a vacation getaway and the perfect base for discovering the surrounding area.
The central wing, designed for socializing and spending time together, houses the kitchen and living room. The bedrooms and the bathrooms are in the other two wings. In one of these wings, designed to host guests, there’s also a small kitchenette.
“The only initial difficulty that we had was to convince the local company that carried out the construction of a new, organic approach,” Cutuli says. “We had to win them over from the habit of working on typical buildings, following the canons of ordinary building. But the company responded very well.”
During the design and building of the house, the owners realized the symbolic value their home was taking on, as well as the uniqueness of the location, and they decided it should be used not just for their own vacations, but for hosting travelers in search of a special place off the beaten path.
The walls were built thick to help maintain the temperature inside the home. A photovoltaic system produces the energy to heat the water and operate the air-conditioning system. A fireplace boiler provides heating in the winter, and the windows cool things off in the summer.
From here it’s easy to see how the design of the home reflects the curves and colors of the landscape. The Hyblaean Mountains have a particular undulation, linked to tectonic movements that date back millions of years to the Miocene Epoch. From above, there’s no trace of the air-conditioning motors, which are hidden so as not to disturb the visual harmony with the landscape.
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