Amelia Tavella has completed the construction of Casa Santa Teresa on her native island, on the Route des Sanguinaires in Ajaccio, France. 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. “It is a house from the 1950s that had to be rebuilt without leaving behind the vestiges of the past: its soul, its spirit.” – Amelia Tavella
“I believe in the memory of walls, in the way it leaves its mark on a space. 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”.
“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.”
Design and info © Amelia Tavella Architectes
Images © Thibaut Dini