New construction, Siracusa, Italy, 2006

Design team: Andrea Di Stefano, Aleksandra Jaeschke with Edouard Cabay and Daniel Coll i Capdevila

Hortus Conclusus, the medieval type of a monastic garden serves as an organisational model for this countryside house. Segregated gardens in which decorative flowers and aromatic plants alternate with vegetables and fruit trees form a complete system.

Most of the existing structures are preserved and only internal spaces are re-organised to better serve the new owners. The interventions are almost entirely limited to the treatment of horizontal surfaces. Different types of vegetation integrated with a water system form an intricate patchwork cutting across the existing buildings and creating new semi-enclosed living spaces. Natural surfaces invade roofs and terraces and mix with artificial materials to offer a higher level of sustainability and to maximise the living areas.