Laid back Ionian island living is personified in the Diptych House in Syracuse, Sicily's historical center of Ortigia Island. This former fisherman's home was renovated by Francesco Moncada and Mafalda Rangel of the local creative firm, Moncada Rangel; a husband and wife team who also happen to be OMA alumni.
During the course of the project they discovered that the home and its courtyard had been built gradually "room-by-room," growing in square footage as the fisherman's family grew in age. The designers chose to maintain this unique characteristic as well as make use of an array of "eclectic" local materials. They also created a space that could be separated into one or two units depending on the number of residents - this house is available for rent through the online platform, I Am Sicily - at any particular time.
Bright pops of primary colors - blue, red, yellow and green - punctuate the otherwise clean colour scheme in shades of white. This creates a serene and yet quirky environment, one that promotes relaxation but never to the detriment of enthusiasm. Take for instance the ceramic tiles that cover the walls of one of the bedrooms; they are handmade and painted by local artisans in a blue, wavy pattern that not only brings to mind the ever-changing sea outside the bright windows, but also resembles an Ellsworth Kelly painting.
This "sea theme" is also brought into the living area, wherein the wavy pattern of the rug is composed in shades of blue and is offset by the yellow metal chairs, as well as the leafy prints sheathing the cushion covers and place settings.
Meanwhile, walking up the sunshine-yellow metal staircase, through the blue-trimmed doorway and out onto the roof terrace leads to another one of these color-infused compositions - a giant red circle painted on one of the walls highlights not only the outdoor shower, but also indicates the direction of the sunrise over the sparkling blue sea. This is perfectly balanced by the green of the cacti which are potted in red terracotta containers and intersperced throughout the sunny space. It seems no detail has been forgotten at the Diptych House and all combine to create a most covetable hideaway by the sea.