Like a relief in the hillside

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The villa designed by Storm Studio blends into the Tuscan countryside. The floor plan follows the topography of the site and the materials reflect its distinctive colours, while the design offers a contemporary interpretation of local tradition.

The villa designed by Storm Studio Architecture is situated in a typical Tuscan countryside landscape of great environmental value subject to protection regulations.

The project started with an unfinished building from the 1980s. It features a horizontal layout and volumes that ‘spread’ on the ground, redefining terraces and contours in a close dialogue with the landscape and topography of the site.

“We tried to interpret the local architectural tradition in a broader sense,” explains Stefano Benatti, co-founder of Storm Studio Architecture. “We focused on the landscape side of the project and its dialogue with the environment through the geometrical designs and materials used.”

Landscape protection regulations led to certain architectural and material choices, while also inspiring solutions. The project adds a bedroom floor to the original structure by raising the roof, while the ground floor has been extended to provide more space for the living area. The architects deconstructed the floor plan by opening up the original volume outwards, in particular towards the swimming pool.

The height differences and slope of the hill are connected by stone-clad walls and banks reminiscent of the dry stone walls traditionally used for rural architecture in this area. The project offers a contemporary interpretation of a traditional building, using exposed stone in the perimeter walls, local earth-coloured plaster to define the main structure, and painted metal for the chimney and planter on the façade.

Carefully chosen vegetation helps the building to further blend into the landscape. As a result of this symbiosis, the outdoor spaces, such as terraces, threshold areas and entrances, are extremely well-designed. Including through materials: the Mystone Pietra Italia20 Beige stone-effect porcelain stoneware collection (40×120 cm size) is laid on a raised floor on most of the terraces, while the wood effect of Treverkdear20 Brown (20×120 cm size), also laid on a floating floor, defines thresholds areas and spaces near the house.

“Although reinterpreted with a contemporary approach, the materials are those typically used in the local building tradition. Stone is replaced here by 2 cm-thick porcelain stoneware which, in the floating floor, has made it possible to create perfectly level surfaces even across large areas. Finally, stoneware has allowed us to achieve uniform, controlled colours, as well as to solve certain difficulties, such as disposal of surface water under the floating floor, obtaining seamless surfaces with a perfect texture and layout that endure over time.”