A Home That Dramatically Replicates a Starry Sky in Its Living Room

A Home That Dramatically Replicates a Starry Sky in Its Living Room

By Caroline Wallis
Given a fantastic site bordering the Hyblaean Mountains of Southern Sicily, Italian architect Fabrizio Foti imagined this villa, titled Casa M_P, as a bold landmark within a bucolic landscape that stays true to its regional heritage.

Composed of three "bodies" arranged to make a central courtyard, Casa M_P is an adaptation of the region's traditional villa architecture. The first body, the entrance, contains the kitchen and garage. The second body, the axis of the plan, contains the living room, gallery, library, and study areas. The third body contains the bedrooms and bathroom. As striking as the dwelling’s expansive white-gray planes is the arrangement of plexiglass tubing perforating the facade: it creates the illusion of a starry sky when viewed at night. This "reverse" lighting scheme—funneling sunlight into the interior during the day and projecting interior lamplight onto the patio at night—creates a dazzling lighting scheme year round.

A modern rendition of Mediterranean architecture combines with sparse landscaping to create a simple, minimalist feel. The climate, according to the architect, varies from "the warmest African sunny days in summer [to] cold, rainy, and snowy days in winter."

The plexiglass tubes animate and add texture to an otherwise spartan facade.

The plexiglass tube's reverse lighting scheme emulates a starry sky above the patio when the interior is lit up at night.

As the sun angle changes throughout the day, the aperture of the facade tubing changes with it, sometimes projecting an array of individual spotlights around the living room and gallery.

One of the homeowners’ priorities was removing the barrier between interior and exterior in an effortless and low-maintenance way. The enormous gray resin-finished patio offers both durability and the opportunity for gorgeous al fresco dining.

The living room, sandwiched between the North garden and South courtyards, features operable windows that make for seamless indoor-outdoor living. Tolomeo Mega Parete light fixtures by Artemide hang over the dining and living areas.

The architect selected a monochromatic scheme to highlight both the courtyard landscaping as well as these sofas by Poltrone e Sofá.

An Artemide Aggregato pendant light hangs over the kitchen table. While most of the home's lighting is intentionally inconspicuous, the architect intened this pendant to stand out.

The architect calls the house a "contemporary interpretation of the traditional Hyblaean villa." Both the promenade and groves of native olive trees are typical features of that style.


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