Since the inception of the design study the building complex, although distributed into at least four different bodies, had its own unitary independence, being visible from the sea as a whole block, situated around a natural slope of about 500 square metres, and below a pedestrian street, perched on a rugged cliff of grey and dark red lava.
From the very start it was deemed impractical to create a sectorial design, limited to just one part of the complex with the possible exclusion of others.
A unifying element of the building structures was the surrounding wall in stone, erected on the cliff, surrounding the bodies of buildings from the sea, which had been abandoned for many decades, and followed the natural conformation of the rocks.
Studies were conducted on systems of spatial relation, the materials used and the construction techniques, with the aim of understanding their lexicon to begin a patient reconstruction process, suitable for the constructive culture of the made-made work, perfectly contextualized into the natural environment.
The oldest lithographic documentation, the recovered photographic evidence and the experience of the modern ‘building’ made it possible to acquire a knowledge about the settlement criteria, whose rationality in the distribution of volumes and the positioning of the buildings in relation to the sea, allows the building to face the risks of nature.
This need influences the unique and different relationship between each unit and the coastline: sometimes the surface is higher and further from the waves, sometimes it is lower, depending on the waves and is sometimes even lower, almost on the sea, since it is protected by a bend in the rock.
Inside the unitary building complex the current division follows the natural suggestions of the foundation surfaces and the movements of the facades in relation to the coast, with the aim of producing four residential units that, despite the new internal borders, could demonstrate the shared belonging to the original structures they originated from.
By replicating all of the original features of the typical Aeolian architecture discovered, the building was taken from the past and brought into the present time, updating certain marginal solutions and redesigning old forms with new materials so that today, with the project completed, the original volumes were brought back to life in a discreet and pleasant way.