Villa RA – MORQProjects
A summer retreat designed by the architecture firm Morq on the rocky ridge that slopes down to the Gulf of Squillace: a respectful and elegant domestic space where measured shots, alternations and combinations place the building in an almost natural continuity with the surrounding landscape.
The quality of being Mediterranean as a strength: Villa RA presents itself as a domestic space that enhances and is in turn enhanced by the landscape it is set in, with which it establishes a visual, material and volumetric dialogue. The study of the surrounding environment leads not only to a new design of the exterior centered around natural signs, combining the Mediterranean scrub with more exotic varieties, but also with a shade of color that is similar to the hue of the soil itself.
In fact, the monolithic volume is characterized by a rough Cocciopesto finish both inside and outside, with a warm and vibrant shade, which is in continuity with the elements of the landscape. The silent and deep partitions alternate with equally deep recesses that interrupt the horizontality of these homogeneous surfaces, projecting clear and square shadows onto them and emphasizing the different surrounding textures: the Mediterranean light thus becomes a valid design tool.
Observing the planimetric development of the building, one can notice that the articulation of the rooms recalls the horizontality that can also be seen in the elevations, in a sort of internal domestic journey that gradually reveals the landscape. This route is established by Morq thanks to measured partitions and strategic openings, cracks and transparencies that frame the views of the gulf, the Calabrian landscape, and corners of the sky.
The house develops along a double axis, proposing along the North-South one a sequence of three spaces that act as wings gradually opening to outside views. The partitions of the entrance patio conceal in fact the domestic space, while suggesting its increasing transparency as one advances through the living area, which extends its area by means of a large window opening onto the large porch.
This space for social interaction is the true heart of the house: on its sides, along the east-west axis, there are the kitchen and the sleeping area. The corridor that is involuntarily generated by the pillars between the living room and the veranda becomes explicit only in front of the sleeping area, where however it forgets its distribution role and becomes an integral part of the path thanks to a window that frames the barren vegetation and at the same time allows natural light to emphasize the texture of the finishes. The rhythmic succession of the exposed beams marks the extension of the internal and external living nucleus, creating at the same time visual continuity between the two parts. The porticoed space, as big as the internal living room, is hierarchically flanked by the master bedroom, with which it shares views towards the south, physically shielded by the depth of the partitions. This approach undoubtedly contributes to underlining Morq’s choice to blur the boundary between internal and external space, between domestic space and the surrounding landscape.
The combination of the volumes and measured alignments of Villa RA, as well as the alternation between full and empty spaces and the deep openings that allow the gaze to systematically open onto the landscape, convey the sense of a non-invasive architecture, a silent presence that in its own intimacy dialogues with light, with the landscape and with the emotional and sensorial qualities of the materials.
- Architects: Morq firm
- Location: Calabria, Gulf of Squillace
- Surface: 400sqm
- Year: 2018
- Awards: 2019 Finalist Project, The Plan Award
- Contractor: Costruzioni G.&P.
- Photos: Givlio Aristide, Pep Sau