This article was originally published in Domus 483 / February 1970
1952, a villa on the Tyrrhenian coast: “La Saracena ” in Santa Marinella
As its layout reveals, this house is divided into two spaces: the living-room and dining area overlooking the coast, and the bedrooms set further back, away from the sea. […] From the terrace on the rocks, in front of the living-room, one descends to the cave at sea level, closed off by the fine gate by Claire Falkenstein, illustrated here. The house is almost hermetically sealed from the street and the city, and this distance is consolidated on the inside with a circular space surrounded by a high wall. The walls facing the sea, meanwhile, have been all but eliminated, replaced with completely retractable shutters. […] The critical examination of a house’s architecture also includes a psychological assessment of relations between the house and the architect’s interpretation “as if the house were for himself”. Indeed, for every worthy client, we architects seek to design something that we would dream of inhabiting ourselves, and I believe this is truly the most reverent gift that an architect can give to the people who will live between “his” walls.