The project was tainted from the beginning of all the past experiences that have taken place in the house, the memories fill every space and push you equally in both directions, keeping the building pretty much as if it was a roman ruin or to erase everything and start over, leaving no trace of previous life within this container.
This dichotomy is precisely where the designs backbone starts from, the triage of what gives the building character and what can or even must be modified is our starting point.
Interventions seek to bring back to Villa Leonor the ambience that was originally designed for, a summer house, laid back, fun and relaxed. The intention to purposely underline the fun, laid back and even naive use of the residence can be perceived in the layout of all the spaces both in the top and bottom apartments. We’ve tried to keep always in mind that a home is to be enjoyed.
The location and morphology of the staircase was crucial to the further development of the project, the intention was to point out the “new” foreign objet with a totally different materiality, acting much like a Wisteria on the buildings from the early 1900, filling up the small cracks, looking for the sunshine, opening up in the façade as the only strange façade opening that does not follow the shape and material of the single-family homes of the time.
The remaining openings that needed to be replaced or new openings that were designed, were designed bowing to the traditional shapes and materials, load bearing walls, arches, wood and a detailed study of where should the openings be located following the new layouts.
Arches become the element that links the old and the new, both in the interior layout as well as well as on the old and new façade openings. Emphasizing the oldest architectural form, used in caves by our ancestors bringing us back to those summer afternoons where playing, anything could become our cave.
The ground floor apartment is organized around the fireplace defined by the main two arches that mimic the one in the façade, the remaining program is organized around the main arches.
A constant contact between interior and exterior is pursued in all the apartment spaces except for the space around the fireplace where introspection is enhanced.
Materiality projects a home with layers of history, up to date, classic and minimalistic, warm and welcoming that generates the necessary comfort required from the clients to update their long-lived residence, without totally breaking with the past
The top floors apartment is a much more extroverted design process, thought from the deep hedonistic pleasure where long lunches, dinners and debates, shared in generous spaces and slightly disproportioned windows to bring the exterior world in.
The search for joy is crystal clear in the apparent unconcern and neglect leaving utilitarian elements out of the equation such as, skirting, guard robe doors or even doorknobs. The goal was to generate a monochrome box where textures, furniture and memories are acquired as the new home is settling in.