Framing the landscape
In the rugged countryside of southern Sicily Villa Belluccelli is perched atop a high hill. This villa is designed as a white frame in the landscape. The orthogonal volume is in contrast with the rolling green hills with olive groves and organic agriculture. The orientation and architecture of the villa emphasize the dominant position of the hill in the area and focus on the beautiful view on the east side of the Ionian and Mediterranean sea and on the west side of the town of Rossolini. Large openings connect the interior with the landscape. A tower right through the frame is designed as a striking accent.
In designing form and layout of the villa, local circumstances have been consciously taken into account. The buildings mass and white colour keep out the heat in summer. The large overhangs protect against the intense sunlight and provide cooling shade. In the patio, a wooden pergola filters the sunlight. The house is perpendicular to the prevailing wind direction, which means that the wind can blow right through the entire villa for cooling. The construction is designed to be earthquake proof.
The villa shows itself as a simple single story volume, but consists of three layers: a basement, a ground floor and a roof terrace. The white frame floats slightly above the ground and on the south side rests on a long wall of lava stone. On the ground floor the living room with open kitchen, a bathroom and two bedrooms are situated. The living area inside continues on the spacious verandas on either side of the villa. A patio connects the verandas to the central living area and the guest quarter with bedroom and private bathroom. The patio can be closed on one side by a steel sliding panel filled with wooden louvers. The position of the windows give each room its own unique view of the landscape.
An external staircase leads from the western veranda to the basement with additional bedrooms, bathroom, utility room and storage. From the eastern veranda, a staircase alongside the tower takes you to the roof terrace with great views of the surrounding landscape. PV panels and solar water heaters are also located here for the generation of sustainable energy and hot water.
On the ground floor of the tower there is a study with a view of the valley. Both the fireplace and chimney are incorporated into the wall of the tower. On top of the tower there is a platform for a spectacular panoramic view, but also for sleeping in the open air, with a view of night sky.
The garden has been designed using local plant and herb varieties resistant to the Sicilian climate. The villa is surrounded by olive trees, of which some are more than 100 years old. The choice of vegetation means that the surrounding landscape extends into the garden, all the way to the villa. As the white frame lies slightly above the ground the whole villa seems to be floating above the green landscape.
Concrete stairs lead from the verandas to the various terraces in the garden, which are made of polished concrete. The swimming pool is located on the west side, and is made entirely of in-situ concrete, of which the rough formwork is clearly visible. Due to the sloping terrain the swimming pool protrudes from the hill, showing the landscape while you swim.