In the country side of Puglia, southern Italy, the renovation and expansion of a farm from the 18th century included a program for a cottage-resort with a lounge/reception area, restaurant, bar, conference room, 10 bedrooms, 7 suites and a wellness center. It was important to understand how to combine the scale and the introspective icon of the original ancient farm for designing both a private and social environment that all remained within the boundaries of the pre-existing century structure. Analyzing the ancient rural buildings made of the local stone “pietra leccese” with thick walls and empty spaces, the pre-existing structure was reminiscent of a labyrinth.
The project was to subvert the meaning of space and volume of the original structure to create an unexpected and intimate space with a direct connection between the exterior and interior, between mass and void. The suites would face the south providing expansive views, a private terrace, all of which would be connected to the outdoor space of the surrounding landscape. The single rooms are visualized as glass containers placed in voids obtained inside the perimeters. A rooftop terrace with panoramic views would be an additional asset for the restaurant. It is the only part of the structure with two levels. The spa (wellness center) was designed to be partly underground, located at the level of -5 meters with Roman baths, where it would be connected to the external garden of the gym and the swimming pool.