By choosing a wonderful natural scenario for her new holiday houses, Barbara Corti recovers a typical rural building, enriching it with cosmopolitan influences and clever suggestions.

Imagine a pristine area in the heart of Puglia, close to the beach at Costa Merlata, Ostuni, Cisternino and the natural reserve of Torre Guaceto. Imagine a land with no human elements but a very simple lamia, an old traditional rural building that in the past used to belong to Apulian peasants, made of local stones, with typical barrel vaults. What can happen when an architect with a strong background in the design world like Barbara Corti, head of International Marketing at Flos, gets eyes on a similar landscape, is effectively reflected in this wonderful property, Casale con Cipresso.

When Barbara Corti recounts that she first felt in love with the landscape, her tone of voice is enthusiastic: “It was winter when I discover this land, that was very wild and simple at the time, and I immediately felt it was the right place to build my dream house”. “I had been searching for a while, I choose Puglia because I like this territory that also brings me back to my roots” continues the Milan-based architect, “as my grandmother was Apulian”.

Realizing this property on her design took 5 years, from 2013 to 2018. Casale con Cipresso has been built with the original local material from Puglia, used as a springboard for the creation of a perfectly designed modern holiday home: all the original elements have been cleverly recovered and involved in the final project.

“The idea of the project is to create scattered houses, so we plan building more, keeping the original idea of a low impact on the territory”, recounts Barbara, that with the choice of using local stones extracted directly in the property, has retained the sense of minimalism so typical of the Apulian rurality.

The property, divided in two part, consist in a master villa with an entrance in the original part of the building where the lamia used to be, whereas the other rooms have been added to the original rural construction, and a dependence, a construction near the main house newly built. The master Villa is composed by two bathrooms, two double bedrooms, two bunk bed bedrooms and a single bedroom, kitchenette and dining area, an outdoor shower and a large external kitchen. The other house features a living room with a fireplace, and a complete kitchen, a bedroom and a big external patio with kitchen. All this property is framed in the perfect Apulian scenario, and a swimming pool completes it. Indoor and outdoor spaces melt at Casale con Cipresso. The pool spaces and the surrounding countryside are in fact designed to take full advantage of the natural shade offered by the movement of the sun around the buildings.

The Casale is now submerged in a natural countryside landscape with giant olives trees and a rich vegetation. “For me it was important to keep a low impact and enhance the landscape”, recounts the architect, that personally curated also the garden design. “All the vegetation is autochthonous, I’ve been searching carefully for it and planned all the interaction between the different species in order to keep the mood I originally found in the land”.

The final result gives a very authentic soul to all the property, in which Barbara Corti and her family, Paolo, her partner and her two children, Alice and Gabriele, find peace and relaxation, but also gather with friends. Her choices wisely juxtaposed to the rigour of the ambient give cosiness and sense of intimacy to the whole space.

Barbara infuses the villas with her personality: “The style I’ve been looking for, while decorating, is a mix between Moroccan-Berber and the Nordic Design”, she recounts. She obtained it choosing outstanding design pieces such as the Eames Plastic Armchair RAR by Charles & Ray Eames, lighting from Flos such as the Myday lamp and mixing it with various influences, from TineK items to the House Doctor ones, giving the Villas a very particular mood.

Sara Dal Zotto


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