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A white volume in the olive grove: Reisarchitettura designs SS House, an Italian private vacation home in Ostuni, Italy

Project name:
SS House
Architecture firm:
Ostuni, Province of Brindisi, Italy
Alessandra Bello
Principal architect:
Nicola Isetta, Paola Rebellato
Design team:
Interior design:
Built area:
112 m² + 23 m² veranda
Site area:
Design year:
2017 - 2018
Completion year:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Alessandro Michielin
Environmental & MEP:
Francesco Bertolo
Mountech Srl
Tools used:
Stone, Plaster, Wood, Metal, Glass
€ 463.000,00
Residential › House

Reisarchitettura: A white volume in the olive grove. 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. 
About Nicola Isetta

Nicola Isetta graduated in March 2008 in “Scienze dell’architettura” at IUAV in Venice. In September 2008, he moved to The Netherlands to study at Delft University of Technology. There, he obtained a Masters of Science in 2011 in Architecture Urbanism and Building Science. From 2011 to 2014, he worked for Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners in Milan, taking part in several Italian and international projects.

About Paola Rebellato

Paola Rebellato graduated in 1989 from IUAV in Venice and opened the studio in Montebelluna. Through numerous collaborations with colleagues, she participated in urban and architectural projects with an expertise in restoration, particularly in the refurbishment of a typical Apulian Trulli into a holiday home.

In 2014, the duo founded REISARCHITETTURA, an architectural practice based in Montebelluna (Treviso), Italy. The firm operates in sectors including architecture, urban design, restoration, and refurbishment, particularly for residential, industrial, and public buildings. Among the studio's completed body of work, several award-winning projects have been featured in influential magazines, including the CEVIV winery plant, the high-tech sustainable rural retreat BS HOUSE, the Apulian minimal-style holiday home GR HOUSE, and others. The studio also took part in several competitions: Minors Palliative-Care center in Tesimo (Bolzano) – winner, Sports hub of Castelfranco Veneto (Treviso) - 3rd prize, New Townhall of Folignano (Ascoli Piceno) – 4th prize, School in Monte di Malo (Vicenza) – 4th prize, Alperia Headquarters in Merano (Bolzano) – Finalist.

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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