Monday, March 28, 2011

Casa Wallace

This was a project that I did for school almost 8 years ago. I had the privilege of studying in Italy for 6 weeks over the summer and we stayed at an amazing little villa/winery while we were there. One of our projects was to create a comprehensive plan for the villa and vineyards that included some wetland reclamation, garden space, an increased number of paths throughout the property, a children's garden, a grotto at the site of the old pool, and other requirements. Living in the space you're designing for is an enjoyable but sometimes overwhelming experience.

Two areas that we concentrated on were the courtyards at the villa. One was completely paved and enclosed on three sides by the villa itself, with the owner's private residence partially covering the fourth side. It got incredibly hot in this courtyard, so I added a fountain with night-lighting and some edge plantings to soften the harsh lines of the space.

The second courtyard was bounded on one side by the villa and the rest was surrounded by an old wall with a little terra cotta roof that was as charming as it was unnecessary. They didn't have a lot of water for irrigation, so I used brick pavers and pea gravel set in organic lines  and curving shapes to create a more "natural" feeling environment and added a few strategically placed berms of native plants to make the sparse plantings more visible. 

As an aside, if you're looking for a place to stay in the Piedmont region of Italy, you can stay here. Visit their website here.