Architect, designer and art director Andrew Trotter is no stranger to Puglia’s soulful beauty; his Barcelona-based studio has designed several houses in Puglia, including Borgo Gallana and Masseria Moroseta, which channel the region’s vernacular heritage through his signature style of crisp elegance. For Casa Maiora, a new four-bedroom house in Carovigno, Trotter takes a break from rural Puglia’s whitewashed vaulted building typology that characterise his previous projects turning instead for inspiration to the villas that dot the coastline, in particular their grand colonnades, spacious verandas and earthy tones. Combining large open spaces punctuated with wide windows and spacious outdoor living areas, and exuding an air of lightness and calmness thanks to an understated design language of muted colours, natural materials and sparse yet soulful furniture, the house proves that simplicity, when done right, can make for a powerful architectural statement.
Perched on the highest point of the property’s land plot so as to capture the best sea views, the one-storey building harmoniously blends in with the Puglian landscape thanks to its low-slung rectilinear volumes and earthy tones. Built out of tufo, a local type of sandstone in shades of yellow and green, the structure was painted with a completely natural powdery pink lime wash by local craftspeople.
Designed as a family house that can also be rented, outdoor summer living and connecting to the surrounding nature was high on the client’s brief, executed through the plethora of large openings along with a spacious veranda that extends along the building’s south facing side. Covered in thick cane, and reminiscent of the souks in Marrakech, the pergola provides ample shade from the midsummer sun, making the veranda the perfect place to relax, eat lunch or take an afternoon siesta.
The exterior’s light earthy tones continue inside the house where a sense of minimalist gracefulness prevails. Stone-paved floors and limewashed walls imbue the interiors with understated vernacular soulfulness while large Crittall-style windows and patio doors inject a subtle sense of modernity also ensuring that the abundant views and natural lighting can be enjoyed throughout the house. A bespoke terrazzo countertop in the kitchen and the use of “cocciopesto” in the bathrooms, an ancient building material obtained by grinding natural clays, further underline Trotter’s penchant for traditional materials and techniques. The handpicked mix of vintage tables, chairs, ceramics and lamps sourced from local markets and artisanal shops, combined with contemporary pieces from brands such as Frama and DCW éditions further enhance the project’s ascetic elegance.