Chianti Villa is a charming 17th-century villa in the Chianti wine region near Monteriggioni, and close to Florence and Siena.
How would you describe Hilltop House in a nutshell?
Hilltop House was designed to be integrated into the landscape, with a strong relationship between the two. It’s a contemporary building but it frames the landscape while using materials that fit within its environmental setting.
How would you describe the atmosphere and architecture of Hilltop House?
Firstly, we wanted to design a house that was comfortable but also experimental as a place for us to test various ideas. Our design aesthetic is generally contemporary or abstract, drawing on lessons of the modern movement but also looking back at history for architectural inspiration. The streamlined architecture fits with the tradition of the place — if you think about Mediterranean houses, they tend to have flat roofs and large stucco walls. So we tried to make a building that drew on that tradition and having water views was important in understanding the character of the house.
It’s designed somewhat like a boat, with a wooden “deck” on top that feels like it’s been stranded in the hilly “waves” of the countryside. Below is a striking white middle layer while the ground floor is constructed using tuff stone sourced from a nearby quarry. All of the furnishings are custom-made, including the radiators, which are designed from copper pipes.
When it comes to the atmosphere of the house, it’s very serene and with harmonious views. There’s a sense of tranquility and a feeling of being close to the sky. But while the setting feels quite isolated, it’s also in close proximity to beautiful villages and lots of restaurants, so you’re never far from people if that’s what you need.
What was the inspiration/story behind Hilltop House?
We wanted to build a house for our family to use mostly during the summer — we reserve the property for ourselves during the month of August but it’s available to guests for the rest of the year. Having views towards the sea was a requirement when we were looking for land - even if it was set in the middle of vineyards and olive groves, it needed to have a connection with the sea, which is what we found.