An architectural transformation reminiscent of childhood memories
Perched a stone’s throw from the Mediterranean Sea, architect Amelia Tavella’s Casa Santa Teresa gives a nostalgic nod to the coastal holiday homes of her childhood. This stylish retreat on the mountainous island of Corsica encapsulates a growing architectural and interior design movement that imbues a sense of wellbeing by the sea. Featured in Life's A Beach, this rebuild is a tribute to its vestiges of the past: soul and spirit.
The original house was built in the 1950s, but after a few years of standing vacant and falling into disrepair, Tavella’s design brought life back to the Corsican property “without leaving behind vestiges of the past.” To make sure that the sea was a focal point of the property, Tavella restructured the house so that no partition inhibited the outlook, encouraging the eye to constantly drift back towards the horizon. The main bedroom and the living room frame the view with large, timber-edged glass doors, while stripped wooden shutters on the remaining windows serve to filter the light into the calm interior.
Drawing on memories of summers spent running barefoot to the ocean over hot stone slabs, the smooth white exterior looks over a stone-bordered plunge pool, with the sea unfolding beyond. All the details were considered to enhance a summer vacation feeling, including the rope railings, the cane-backed chairs in the living room, and a simple wooden patio awning. With this project and when it comes to all her designs, Tavella says: "When I build, there is no betrayal. I proceed by inclusion. Nature invades my projects. She is neither an obstacle nor a hindrance, she is my host whom I celebrate. I adapt to the trees, to the light, to the relief. It’s my way of balancing a modern gesture, architecture, with the tradition of a cliff, a ravine."
Since the beginning of human existence on Earth, there has always been a proximity to water–especially the sea. It is a source of food and trade, but for many water has a psychologically restorative effect. Living by the sea has been a dream shared through the centuries, it was Mother Nature’s original spa before the term evolved into a fashionable commodity. Harnessing the power of oceanic environments through architecture and interiors can shape therapeutic benefits both mentally and physically. Acting as a paramount pillar of wellbeing, peacefully designed residences in the presence of the ocean forge a tranquil reverie from the outside world. Life’s A Beach is a stylish visual voyage through these homes and the way of life they represent.