Imagine taking refuge on the roofs of the Riad Salentino. In the historic center of a small town in Salento, in Puglia. The warm tones of the Lecce's stone are flanked by walls covered with white lime. A touch of color is given by the sky-blue painted wooden windows. The same color found on the surfaces of the two nineteenth-century capitals of the entrance arch.
Vaulted rooms overlook a small courtyard, recalling the architecture of a riad. The heart of the house is the small courtyard, paved with tumbled slabs of Lecce stone. "The same slabs are also used inside the house to create a sort of visual continuity: only in the bathroom and in the kitchen were the slabs are replaced by a thin layer of beige micro-cement, spread by hand with the cleta (a small trowel)" says the architect Massimo Brambilla.
Bright, romantic and Arabic, the Riad Salentino exploits the succession of terraces, once used for drying vegetables, to create relaxation areas. A white EPS micro pool was created on one of these terraces: "To make it light and not weigh down the underlying structures. The micro pool is completely white, in this way it blends in as much as possible with the surrounding, in contrast to the dark 'chianche' floor now covered with mosses and lichens that have formed over the decades" explains Massimo.
Riad Salentino is part of the Acqua di Puglia project, created to enhance the Salento area and Apulian architecture. I asked Massimo Brambilla, creator of the project, to tell me something more.
It was 2018 when we really wanted a house by the sea and we chose Matino to make this dream come true. A couple of weeks before the purchase of the house, Riad Salentino, my wife and I were stuck in a chalet in Switzerland, in front of the fireplace, under a heavy November snowfall. We fantasized about the adventure that was waiting us and we gave the name to our project: Acqua di Puglia. The next day we registered the trademark. The motto chosen eloquently sums up what we want to communicate: "Our way of experiencing Puglia".
Acqua di Puglia seeks, finds and carefully chooses properties immersed in the smallest historical centers or lost on the Salento coasts, with the aim of giving them a new life. It is not a simple agency or a construction company, Acqua di Puglia is a lifestyle based on the sharing of values such as: authenticity, elegance, uniqueness and simplicity.
Houses in contemporary rural chic style, simple and refined, embellished by local workers, where you can breathe a Mediterranean air. All the houses have in common the use of the same natural and local materials (Lecce stone, carparo, white lime, wood, linen) and the same furnishings (most of our production). Many of the houses are characterized by the presence of blue shutters, white walls and micro pools on the roof.
My inspiration comes from the passion for restoration, developed at a young age when I was an architecture student. I have carried out hundreds of church restorations throughout Lombardy, especially on Como Lake, where I come from. In general, I try to preserve the existing and enhance poor architectural elements, combining them with new neutral and contemporary materials, making them screech one against the other and creating a sort of surprise effect.