Cava Ispica House - Limestone Trilogy N.1

(Modica, Sicily, $60,000)

The first in a series of three projects that reinvent traditional rural buildings in Sicily.

This project series is about the reinvention of three historic stone buildings in Sicily. All three are a testimony to a successful building type and the vernacular construction methods, being made out what had been the readily available material for millennia and sharing similar details although they were constructed at very different times and on different sites.

The three buildings also appear at once to literally ‘grow’ out of the ground and be one with it, incorporating within their volume pre-existing caves and other natural features. This was man literally sculpting and carving a shelter for himself, his family and his few possessions and protecting them with thick walls and few openings.

The design of the three projects stems from the idea of ‘growing within’. New surfaces and volumes delicately but assuredly colonize the historic building protected by its stone carapace and instil new life within it. The two remain distinct but at the same time rely on each other for their continued existence, in a quasi-symbiotic relationship.