Project: House SS
Architectural design and construction supervision: REISARCHITETTURA
Team: Arch. Nicola Isetta Arch. Paola Rebellato
Structural Design: Ing. Alessandro Michielin
Mechanical and plumbing installations design: Ing. Francesco Bertolo
Electrical installations, home automation and lighting design: Mountech Srl
Location: Ostuni (Brindisi), Italy
Surface: 112 m²+23 m² veranda
Construction cost: € 463.000,00
Photographs: Alessandra Bello
The SS House is an Italian private vacation home inserted into a young olive grove in the Ostuni countryside, in the Valle d’Itria area (Puglia). The volume, white and pure, stands out in the surrounding countryside through its simple forms of traditional Apulian architecture, innovated with infusions of contemporary architectural details.
The spaces are designed for a slow and relaxing pace of life, in contact with nature. The SS House is inserted between the rows of an olive grove, and its layout develops from the central axis of the entrance on the east side, with a car space and storage volume defined by dry-stone walls that separate the living area from the sleeping area, leading visitors inside the house. The living area is located on the north side, where the best views can be enjoyed through large windows that frame the surrounding landscape, thanks to the natural slope of the terrain. The center of gravity of the living area is the volume of the fireplace, dividing the space into a dining zone – dominated by the kitchen island – and a sitting zone. The sleeping area develops on the south side of the house and consists of two bedrooms with independent bathrooms and large windows facing east and west.
The south elevation is almost completely blind to protect from the hot Apulian sun, while the north side living room opens into a porch to offer a seamless space between the interior and exterior, suitable for summer use of the residence. From there, a natural-looking path made of randomly laid stone slabs descends to the pool area, which overlooks the valley with a view of the town of Cisternino (Brindisi). The pool area is completed by a gazebo with a bamboo cover, a kitchen for outdoor dining, and a bathroom with a shower.
External finishes are those of traditional Apulian rural architecture: walls with white lime plaster finish, or made of local dry stone, external Apricena stone slab paving, and gazebos of white-painted metal with bamboo covering. A more contemporary style was chosen for the interior, which is characterized by contrasts between the white of the walls, the gray of the micro-concrete floor, the black of windows, doors, and kitchen, and the sobering colors of the furniture.
Finally, in the development of the project, particular care was given to sustainability and the use of renewable energy sources. The use of traditional white colors helps to avoid overheating during the hottest periods, and the large windows are equipped with motorized rolling sunshades for sun protection. On the roof, a photovoltaic system produces electricity that powers the heat pump for the air conditioning of the house. LED fixtures were chosen for lighting, allowing for savings of 50% on electricity use, and having a much longer life cycle than traditional systems. There is also a rainwater recovery system, which sores rainwater in an underground tank for gardening reuse.