The White Tower house is located in Gagliano del Capo, a quiet village in the heart of Salento, the southernmost region of Apulia that stretches at the “heel of Italian boot” in south-eastern Italy. The house is located in the regional park that stretches between the rocky Adriatic coast and the white beaches of the Ionian Sea.
The house is designed by architect Lorenzo Grifantini, director of DOS architects, an established architecture studio based in London with an international portfolio, assisted by his wife Allegra Figus for the design of the interior.
Aiming to escape the hustle and bustle of their London city life, their vision was to create a haven of tranquillity for their family in a place they most love: Salento.
Having spent years searching for the ideal place, Lorenzo and Allegra discovered a small plot of land in Gagliano del Capo, a small white town minutes away from the Adriatic coast. The site is adjacent to the centre of the town and yet tucked away, hidden behind San Rocco church.
The house is located within a dense urban context in the proximity of the historic town centre and along a footpath, named Ciolo, that links Gagliano to the sea.
From inception, the design of the house sought to establish a dialogue to the existing urban fabric. The design of the house reflects the relationship between the openness of the pedestrian streetscape and the privacy of the daily family life.
The fabric, while occupying all the available area (780 sqm footprint), establishes a balanced equilibrium between the interior spaces and the exterior patio.
Following the tradition of the Roman domus, the aggregated volumes of the house overlook an internal courtyard. The interplay of solid and voids also produce a network of smaller patios that intimately connected single rooms to the exterior.
The central courtyard, however, is the real heart of the house, a place of conviviality and play, where the swimming pool and the carefully selected vegetation reproduce the presence of natural elements.
The spaces surrounding the patio are connected to the exterior through large double-glazed sliding windows establishing a continuous flow of the interior into the exterior and, vice versa, rendering the exterior as part of the most intimate rooms of the house.
The threshold between interior and exterior is marked by the presence of an external canopy made of galvanized iron and covered with bamboo, that connects all the volumes of the house in a single architectural element.
The architecture of the house is deliberately austere to allow the natural elements to naturally fill the space. The interplay of light and shadow onto the white surfaces of the volumes produces an ever-changing backdrop to the life inside the house.
The floor is made of Leccese stone, the typical local stone, which is characterised by its high porosity which render its surface light absorbing without refracting. The stone has been used in both the central court and the adjacent ones to allow visual continuity and fluidity in the use of the space.
The furnishing of the house is a mix of the best artisan tradition of Salento (weaving, carpentry, blacksmiths) and the best Italian manufacturing industries (Viabizzuno for lighting, Campesato for windows and doors).