Ten years ago, the owners of a historic 1900 Italian villa decided to extend it by opening up its thick load-bearing walls and adding a glass gallery on the ground floor to connect the inside of the home with its spectacular natural surroundings.
Thanks to an extraordinary exercise in the transformation of a traditional volume, the owners managed to integrate the garden, which was also carefully landscaped to include a pond, not far from the building, on the plot’s south-facing side, that can be seen from the gallery.
Since the project was completed, the family have not stopped dreaming about new ideas for their home. They recently entrusted the studio of architects act romegialli – made up of Gianmatteo Romegialli, Angela Maria Romegialli and Erika Gaggia – with the design and construction of a pavilion that could be used all year round and that they could use as a pool, gym and leisure area.
There were two initial conditions: the space had to be climate-controlled and the design was to have as little visual impact as possible, given the surrounding natural beauty.
Following a topographical survey of the land, the architects decided to place the pavilion relatively far away from the house so that it could not be seen, just by the pond. They also chose to directly open the new space to the surface of the pond that had formed part of the landscaping project completed ten years earlier and forgo natural light through the roof.
A large horizontal opening with views of the pond is the only source of natural light, which confers a magical quality on the design. The house and the new pool are connected by a dark tunnel, which on approaching the new space becomes flooded with light, thanks to a large window.
The interior stands out for the meticulously executed finishes, which flow in a continuous stream of simple geometric volumes, all made of just three materials: concrete, wood and ceramic. There is virtually no sign of the wiring, There are no ledges or sharp edges. Just like a calm sea, the surfaces appear to smoothly flow into each other.
This flow continues on the outside. In summer, the interior space blends into the surroundings. The surface of the pool and the pond are on the same level.
© Images: Marcello Mariana