longing for a life by the sea prompted our young couple to rescue a tiny house that had been abandoned for a number of years. The exterior refurbishment was sensitive to the aesthetic and architectural characteristics of the ancient building, the interior was turned in an open and modern space. The project was overseen by Maria Teresa Giorgio, a young architect who works for the family practice in Messina.
The building is located on Messina’s north coast, just before Punta Faro, where the mainland is just over three kilometres away. Overlooking the strait, it commands a view over the coming and going of ships of any sort, from cruise ships to commercial vessels and fishermen’s boats too. This magnificent landscape deserves the large window that Maria Teresa has designed on the first floor, where the living room is placed.
The ground floor was the only part that remained from the original building that dated from the second half of the nineteenth century, the first floor was a precarious shack built after the earthquake that raised Messina to the ground in 1908. Masonry walls were erected on the first floor too, so as to restore the building to its original state.
The project is based on a juxtaposition between the ancient shell and the modern interior. The interior is designed as a fluid space. The open staircase connects the four different heights of the staggered levels of the house. Light walls and floors capture the light from the large first floor window and a glass skylight in the floor carries the light down to the dining area. The contemporary furniture includes the classic pieces of the iconic designers, here and there several family period pieces add the right contrast.
The cusp of the Strait of Messina is an ancient and captivating place. It faces the rest of Italy with its mysterious stories of men and the sea. This small house, renovated by Maria Teresa Giorgio for a young couple, seems to want to gather them all and adds a new one too. A modern story, full of light and a longing to build something new while preserving and respecting the past.
Renovation of a rural house
Location: Messina, Italy
Project and e interior design:
Studio Giorgio, Umberto & Maria Teresa Giorgio Architetti, Messina
Courtesy Maria Teresa Giorgio
Credits Giancarlo Granei