“Refinements of taste and imagination, rich and sometimes precious materials, the magic of the antique that fits in parsimoniously, with an expressive life of its own, exempt from any triviality of imitation or appeal, make this villa a luxury residence; but luxury here is not an oratorical expression: it is rather a liberation from certain constraints and limitations, creating new possibilities in form and association from the wealth of means. The original compositional measure of the living spaces then makes nature a participant in the life of the house”.
After such an introduction - taken from Domus issue 157 of January 1941 - the sale listing of this villa built by Luigi Carlo Daneri on the peninsula of Sestri Levante, overlooking the twin bays of the Ligurian village, would hardly need any further text or description.
The house, named Villa Domus at the beginning, built by the master of Genoese modernism in a more than unique location between 1938 and 1939 has then been long owned by Renato Minetto, publisher of several magazines including Abitare, and is now for sale, in a condition that keeps much of its original character preserved. Its light ivory lime plaster and slate roofing stand nestled among the pines and heather overlooking the open sea (and a more recent pool), unfolding into an interior showing “very open solutions and free movements,articulated into the three distinct cores, all with direct access from the main entrance, dedicated to rest in the eastern portion, to living at the south and to services at the northwestern end”.
The surface is 1100 square meters, hosting 9 bedrooms (and 6 bathrooms), originarily divided between master rooms on the ground floor and guest rooms on the second floor. The most precious part then lies in the system of access and reception spaces, with a slate stairway leading to a living room where Daneri's "stone-hard Lecorbusierism" expresses into surfaces, glass walls and promenades architecturales that evoke the Parisian Villa la Roche. The large living and dining room windows, once fully opened, extend into the house the nature that surrounds it, in continuity with the exterior shading structures of the terraces, also depicting a Lecorbusierian taste.
Inside, the detailed study of the furnishings and their color schemes has been partly transformed and updated, but the most significant elements of the original Villa Domus remain present, such as the rational grid created by white marble strips on the living room slate floor, the stones, mosaics, and glass wall in the central patio, as well as the two pieces of antiquity - a small Renaissance portal and a Byzantine baptismal font - almost naturally encrusting the modernist surfaces of the entrance hall.