How to save a villa: practical advice from Rocco Valentini

Rocco Valentini,

Chieti, Italy,




After suffering from industrial additions constructed for the purposes of the agricultural business it contained, this late 19th century villa near Chieti was in urgent need of renovation. Architect Rocco Valentini explained how he protected the historical part of the villa and its unique identity while adapting it to contemporary style.

How to save a villa: practical advice from Rocco Valentini

Chieti, Italy. A late 19th century villa containing an olive press has suffered industrial additions since the 1980s which have left it disfigured, without light and air. Architect Rocco Valentini set out to demolish these structures and give the house new life.

The entire renovation project revolves around a new volume linking the original buildings. The new volume acts as a hinge, foyer and vertical link for the different floors in the villa. The structure is made of corten steel and glass, with a geometric shape inspired by late 19th century farm equipment used in the processing of crops. The volume is constructed in a completely different idiom from the old part of the villa, from which it is separated by a glass corridor.

By daring to combine very different elements, Valentini has created something that reflects the farm's ancient identity, with its bare brick vaults and walls, while at the same time jumping two hundred years forward to our own time.

The formal consistency of the old and new elements in the project is maintained by the colours of the materials, all in warm hues: brick and corten steel, mahogany and porcelain. Even the lighting, with warm leds at 3000°K, is designed to enhance the colours of the villa, both inside and outside.

Francesco Cibati

Year: 2012-2015
Location: Chieti, Italy
Team: Rocco Valentini, Chiara Valentini
Photos: Rocco Valentini


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