Inspired by ancient fortified farms, Italian architect Massimo Iosa Ghini built a family house and a countryside retreat in Salento, Southern Italy. The contemporary masseria combines bespoke interiors with pergolas and patios with ancient olive trees and pines.
The single-storey plan plunges into the charming Mediterranean nature few kilometres away from the sea and respects the existing vegetation. A structure in acid-treated wood in the outdoor living area near the main living room works as a pergola and supports tree branches as well.
Masserias were traditional stone walled country houses and farms built between the 16th anf 19th century. The buildings were generally fortified to prevent attacks.
Massimo Iosa Ghini says “We adopted techniques and materials suggested by local artisans and builders”.
Indeed, the project makes use of the local Chianca stone for the outdoor paving, large panels of porcelain stoneware for the inside, and even dry-stone construction methods.
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A large living area opens to the dining-kitchen zone to become the family hangout. The area is surrounded by four bedrooms with their own vestibules and baths.
“Large glasses which face the external area are designed as a natural continuation of the protected space, paved and designed as a place of relations with crafted sofas and armchairs, underline the constant relationship between outdoor and indoor spaces”.
Detached from the house, in an independent old rudere, a pajara transformed as a guesthouse equipped with an outdoor area for relax.
The flat roof, with access from an external staircase and set aside as a solarium, leads to the panoramic viewing point to watch the countryside and the sea.
Hammock for a nap, tailor-made chairs and crafted tables alternate at few Iosa Ghini design pieces carefully chosen to decorate interior spaces, creating an intending decorative essentiality, leaving daylight and the surrounding nature as the absolute protagonist of the domestic setting.