a house in sardinia by stefania stera emerges as a monolith of granite and crushed lava stone

a house in sardinia by stefania stera emerges as a monolith of granite and crushed lava stone

stefania stera architectures completes a house in sardinia

 

Sited in Porto Cervo by the sea, A House in Sardinia by Stefania Stera Architectures takes shape as an intriguing monolithic project. The residence, encircled by a strong relief of rocks, was once a mundane abode facing away from the north, overlooking a tree-lined road bathed in westward light. The sloping lawn towards the sea was uninviting with its odd angle. Poor light reflection and underutilization of elevated areas meant missed opportunities for sea views and access from the canyon top. Beach access was also limited and secondary, and the extensive coastline remained untapped while the land’s dimensions were undisclosed. 

a house in sardinia by stefania stera emerges as a monolith of granite and crushed lava stone
image by Tiziano Canu | all courtesy Stefania Stera Architectures

 

 

in architectural harmony with the rocky massif and sea

 

For Stefania Stera (see more here), the objective for A House in Sardinia is to create volumes that do not detract from the site but rather invigorate it in the tradition of Porto Cervo. ‘The site and the habitat feed off each other. Materials and craftsmanship endow it with a sense of permanence and humanity,’ she shares. The house occupies the entire territory, with a central core suitable for year-round habitation. The whole is an architectural promenade in harmony and continuity with nature, where different environments coexist and intersect, each enhancing the other. The foundational gesture of the project, determining its posture, is the tracing of two axes, one towards the sea and one towards the rocky massif. Their intersection allows for articulating various significant places and establishing two ‘plateaus,’ both experienced as ground floors. One features alternating access from the street, a passage under the patio, a courtyard rich in volumes, and a passage under the living room. The other highlights the heart of the terrain towards the rocky massif with high views towards the sea.

a house in sardinia by stefania stera emerges as a monolith of granite and crushed lava stone
image by Tiziano Canu

 

 

The ground floor level, much lower than before, allows the construction to descend, avoiding the slope towards the sea to create a stronger connection to the water and better garden use. A cornice along the sea reveals and enhances the coastal aspect of the site, forming a functional path for the caroline. This cornice path serves many places, true singular alcoves with multiple functions. As Stera explains, the organization is quite unconventional. The true entrance of the house is the courtyard, while, for example, the actual hall is cramped, almost slipping into it upon entry—indeed, one slides from one space to another, each widening into the other and enriching it. The rooms are arranged around the main courtyard, bathed in the late afternoon sun, and surrounded by different volumes articulated to the site and the spaces. Light reflects off the surrounding facades, creating a luminous core amidst the ensemble.

a house in sardinia by stefania stera emerges as a monolith of granite and crushed lava stone
image by Tiziano Canu

 

 

Functionally, three street accesses define the layout: The main entrance serves a courtyard, a very qualitative and landscaped car access oriented towards the sea, access to the caretaker’s accommodation through a courtyard where two cars can also be parked, and an enlargement at the western end of the land allowing two additional vehicles to be parked parallel to the street. The caretaker’s house is accessible from the west, towards the services, and offers views of the entrance and the main courtyard. The kitchens, utility rooms, workshop space, and grocery store face this slope with direct access to the cellar. Access to the basement is provided at three points: the courtyard, the service area, and a small courtyard near the main parking.

a house in sardinia by stefania stera emerges as a monolith of granite and crushed lava stone
image by Tiziano Canu

 

 

generous access points and framings of nature

 

The main access to A House in Sardinia is through the courtyard via a discreet door and reception area serving two bedrooms on the ground floor, as well as upstairs the living room, dining room, office, and master suite. The lower plateau serves as the caretaker’s accommodation, two suites with two bedrooms each, kitchens, and services. Upstairs, below the caretaker’s accommodation, is a third suite with two bedrooms. A large patio forms the north side of the courtyard and serves as a porch from the street entrance. The upper plateau forms a U shape and includes the living room, largely open towards the sea, and the small square in the heart of the land, extending lengthwise parallel to the sea. The small square provides access to the canyon, seen as a backbone serving various interesting corners of the site. A ramp descending from the living room towards the east connects this level with the lower level, completing a loop with a lively architectural promenade on the site.

 

Meanwhile, the dining room faces west but offers sea views through the living room. The master suite, occupying the remainder of the floor, is a vast ensemble composed of enclosed and open spaces in a sequence rich in events, atmospheres, and framings of nature: courtyards, patios, terraces, bedroom, dressing room, and bathroom. From the patio, a staircase leads to the roof, part of which is converted into a terrace, while the larger part is vegetated to mimic the house.

a house in sardinia by stefania stera emerges as a monolith of granite and crushed lava stone
image by Tiziano Canu

 

 

stefania stera combines marble, granite, and ceramic

 

The choice of materials confirms and enriches the concepts of A House in Sardinia. Granite and brick directly connect with the natural space and mark the entrance sequence. An anthracite coating recalls the rocks. A marble developed in an open pattern unfolds like a carpet in the living room, which is small and square. One characteristic feature is the treatment of numerous spaces in ceramic, resembling azulejos — a colorful, smooth covering, evoking freshness. It lends an alcove character, open-air rooms, spaces of pure geometries standing out from the rest, placed along the pathways. Service spaces are treated with a Venetian-style polished floor. The bedrooms are paved with gray lava stone to reinforce the interiority of the room and highlight the colors of nature. The two bathrooms of each suite are alternately finished with two types of marble. In the bathrooms, marble surfaces cover the floors as well as vertical portions. Below or within the showers are artisanal white ceramic coverings.

a house in sardinia by stefania stera emerges as a monolith of granite and crushed lava stone
image by Nicolas Borel

 

 

The external cladding comprises a paste of granite and crushed lava stone, all with a taupe/gray color alternating with smooth surfaces, ensuring volume continuity and water resistance. Inside, the walls are treated with rough white plaster. The doors are made of wood with lacquered portions in colors to create an alternation and correspondence with the colors of the ceramic. ‘To avoid traditional wardrobes but design them as living, rich, and free elements, they are treated with fabrics with wicker weaving surfaces. All following the inspiration of Sardinian materials. Free elements such as trunks or suspended shelves complete the fittings,’ concludes Stefania Stera. 

 

house-in-sardinia-designboom-full-2

image by Tiziano Canu

a house in sardinia by stefania stera emerges as a monolith of granite and crushed lava stone
image by Tiziano Canu

a house in sardinia by stefania stera emerges as a monolith of granite and crushed lava stone
image by Nicolas Borel

house-in-sardinia-designboom-full-9

image by Tiziano Canu

a house in sardinia by stefania stera emerges as a monolith of granite and crushed lava stone
image by Nicolas Borel

a house in sardinia by stefania stera emerges as a monolith of granite and crushed lava stone
image by Tiziano Canu

house-in-sardinia-designboom-full-6

image by Tiziano Canu

a house in sardinia by stefania stera emerges as a monolith of granite and crushed lava stone
image by Tiziano Canu

a house in sardinia by stefania stera emerges as a monolith of granite and crushed lava stone
image by Tiziano Canu

house-in-sardinia-designboom-full-1

image by Nicolas Borel

a house in sardinia by stefania stera emerges as a monolith of granite and crushed lava stone
image by Tiziano Canu

a house in sardinia by stefania stera emerges as a monolith of granite and crushed lava stone
image by Tiziano Canu

house-in-sardinia-designboom-full

image by Nicolas Borel

 

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project info:

 

name: A House in Sardinia

location: Porto Cervo

architect: Stefania Stera Architectures (here) | @stefaniastera

living area: 750 sqm 

terraces: 350 sqm 

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