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Former fishermen’s house converted into a diptych home in Sicily
Let’s discover the secrets of this stunning home designed by studio Moncada Rangel, a real gem enshrined in the Ortigia Island
Diptych House by studio Moncada Rangel, Ortigia, Syracuse, Sicily
The most ancient area in Syracuse, the one that conveys the acme of the city’s most authentic splendor is Ortigia. A happy urban island whose center houses a fascinating home overlooking the Ionian Sea from which it gets its peculiar light: the Diptych House. A former fishermen’s house recently refurbished and renovated by a dynamic, cosmopolitan architects’ duo: Francesco Moncada e Mafalda Rangel, whose studio of the same name – Moncada-Rangel – moved from Rotterdam to Syracuse and is now part of the local reality, even though constantly engaged in international projects.
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The two creatives’ design aims at softening the boundaries between outdoor and indoor spaces, between what is structural and what is informal, between strong and delicate, project and randomness, uniqueness and standardization, tradition and innovation. All of this is duly mirrored into the Diptych project. What is its main feature, though? Surely the fact that it can easily be transformed into either one or two housing units depending on the number of guests. “When we took out the stucco of the interior walls, we found out that the house has been built gradually, room-by-room and not as a whole project. The fishermen’s family that lived here was gradually growing over time, and accordingly did the house”, the architects explain.
All photos Courtesy and Copyright © Alberto Moncada all right reserved
The idea behind the refurbishment project of the small seaside home was to maintain the eclectic use of materials, and to bring back the original layout. The choice of materials reflects the ever-changing color of the sea, thus developing a texture characterized by a thousand blue nuances that literally vibrate in keeping with the natural light flooding all the rooms. The only ex-novo built wall is made of a single slab of precious Calacatta marble found in an old church, which now divides the bathroom from the bedroom.
In the second housing unit – which can be turned into a single bedroom according to need – walls are clad with ceramic tiles manufactured and decorated by local artisans, inspired by motifs by Ellsworth Kelly simulating seawater. The irregular, entirely white wooden flooring recalls the old boats visible from the windows, while a wall mirror reflecting the breathtaking sea-view amplifies the entire space. The whole of the home’s horizontal surfaces are covered by the same limestone employed for the nearby castle as a virtual extension of the Forte San Giovannello pedestrian path. A real jewel of a house nestled into a unique, highly suggestive urban reality.
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