“It is typical of a Mediterranean dwelling, where the understanding of a relationship with the place has a central role in the conception and expression of its outcome.”
"The limited palette of materials reveals the simple geometry of the building and creates a visual and tactile continuity between landscape and architecture."
Villa RA by MORQ
Against the rugged landscape, 300 metres above sea-level, a series of rectangular masses are assembled that peer out over Calabria – a region of Southern Italy best known for its sundrenched beaches, dramatic coastline and scattering of quaint villages.
Conceived as 'the house that looks', the owners who originally hail from the region handed over the brief to design firm MORQ, who were asked to create a hilltop property that would serve as a summer house.
“They imagined this retreat as a place of respite and reconnection; a place from which to enjoy the virtues of their land in a way that is harmonious with not only the landscape, but also the tragion of living in such a place,” said the firm. “To dwell in Calabria is to firmly locate oneself in the Mediterranean landscape.”
Comprising of three linear volumes that run parallel to each other, the first is an entryway lined with palm trees, the next accommodates a large living area, kitchen and guest quarters and the final containing the portico and the master bedroom suite.
Earthen pigments of opus signinum plaster have been used on the external facade - a material made of broken tiles that was regularly used in ancient Roman buildings, helping to connect the house with its surrounding terrain, and its inhabitants with their natural surroundings.
Expansive and intentional openings punctuate the earthen walls, almost every space has been completed with apertures that frame breathtaking views of the nearby Gulf of Squillace.
It uses formal elements of traditional Italian villas based on axial organisation as its primary ordering system within the design, helping to define the programming arrangement of each space and offers a protective threshold from the climatic conditions the site presents - strong winds from the north-west side, and direct sun from the south.
Drawing upon the colours of the land, crushed stones in the same hue have been scattered around the home to help it further submerge in to the landscape. Large granite boulders and tropical palms also provide camouflage.
The limited palette of materials reveals the simple geometry of the building and creates a tactile continuity between the landscape and architecture.
Based between Australia and Italy, MORQ was established in 2001 by Mattero Montreduro, Emiliana Roia and Andrea Quagliola who are dedicated to designing meaningful spaces within simple and thoughtful buildings.
Photography - Givlio Aristide
Design — MORQ
Location — Calabria, Italy