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Amelia Tavella Architectes completes holiday home with unobstructed views on Corsica coastline
France Architecture News - Mar 30, 2020 - 16:16 1989 views
Named Santa Teresa House (or Casa Santa Teresa), the studio has completed the construction of the Casa Santa Teresa on her native island, on the Route des Sanguinaires in Ajaccio.
There would be the primitive memory of a house by the sea, memory of the days blushed by the sun, slow or dancing evenings, clear dawn which opens their arms to the one who finally dozes off - beauty is a celebration.
Interior and exterior are never untied, but balanced according to the strength or the softness of the light passed through the sieve of the striped shutters, pivoting doors which invite or protect in the vast living room with secret alcoves leading to the upper rooms, while the plants and flowers escort the swim.
The white building surrounded by sky is built overhanging the Mediterranean which unfolds a few meters away and which can be reached barefoot on the hot slab: the offering and the promise.
"It is a house from the 1950s that had to be rebuilt without leaving behind vestiges of the past: its soul, its spirit. I believe in the memory of walls, in the way it leaves its mark on a space," said Amelia Tavella.
"This is the story of the fun you had to find here. Pleasure of baths, invasive nature, close proximity to the beach, rocks, the Mediterranean Sea. The house is as if extracted from the city, which is fading in favor of beauty, of silence."
"Pivoting doors, alcoves, no partition prevents the view. I wanted beauty to flow, to be an invitation to the horizon, to the imagination. The railings are made of rope, the striped shutters inspired by the shutters and the frame doors let the light circulate while filtering it when it is intense."
The different levels, inside the large living room, its fireplace and the upper rooms connected by a wooden staircase, outside the slab path which descends, are all steps to access the beach which is an offering, a trophy, just behind the Sanguinaires road.
"The smooth white facade never hits the sky, the plants, the flowers remain the guardians of the swimming pool and its terrace. It is the quintessential vacation home, the one that haunts my memory of happy childhood evenings, when the night embraces the day and beauty is a celebration," added Tavella.
Casa Santa Teresa expresses the architectural gesture of Amelia Tavella: "When I build, I don’t defeat. There is no betrayal. I proceed by inclusion. Nature invades my projects. She is neither an obstacle nor a hindrance, she is my host whom I celebrate. I adapt to the trees, to the light, to the relief. It’s my way of balancing a modern gesture, architecture, with the tradition of a cliff, a ravine. There is something ancestral with nature. I am moved by it, often. I have so much passion for creating, inventing from an already written history."
"Each time, it’s a gamble: inscribe the building in the original space without shocking anything, moving or mistreating it. It’s an extension, not an amputation."
Amelia Tavella was born in Corsica and saw in the island’s beautiful landscapes a gateway to new horizons. In 2018, she was named "a rising star of French architecture" by the "Choiseul Ville de Demain" ranking amongst the top 100 young leaders shaping the city of the future” compiled by the Choiseul Institute, one of the most influential think tanks in France.
This was a new honour for Amelia Tavella who was awarded the 2018 Pierre Cardin prize by the French Academy of Arts under the dome of the Institut de France and is the recipient of 2016 Young Woman Architect Award.
The Choiseul Institute, promoters of talent, underlined the specific artistic approach that characterises Amelia Ta- vella’s work.
Project name: Santa Teresa House
Architects: Amelia Tavella Architects
Location: Ajaccio, France
All images © Thibaut Dini