An Architect Unites Three Brutalist Villas He Designed on Sardinia in the 1970s

An Architect Unites Three Brutalist Villas He Designed on Sardinia in the 1970s

By Shonquis Moreno
Forty years after creating a cluster of utopic villas on Sardinia, an architect returns with a new team to create a single retreat.

Approaching by land or sea, one could easily miss these three villas on the northeast coast of Sardinia. Attuned to the environmental sensitivities of the 1970s, when they were designed by Turin architects Ferdinando Fagnola and Gianni Francione, they rise almost reluctantly from the earth, their Brutalist wedges half-rooted and dispersed, woolly with shrubs. This spring, four decades after the villas were built, Fagnola returned to the island, joined by a team of younger architects from another Turin studio, PAT., to finish off a series of restorations—ranging from a fresh color palette to adding new bedrooms—commissioned by the current owners. The result is a single vision refined and elaborated on by two generations of designers: environmentally committed, aesthetically bold, and built to foster a quasi-communal lifestyle. "New forces bring new ideas," Fagnola says. "I was happy to see architecture I did forty years ago rejuvenated by young blood."

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