In beautiful Apulia since May, La Selva Ostuni, a masseria-style dwelling that was born from the renovation of a classic 1970s house, which in turn is the result of an extension of a typical Apulian trullo. This is the latest addition to Acqua di Puglia, a brand born out of architect Massimo Brambilla ‘s love for the renovation, preservation and redevelopment of the splendid Apulian territory, capable of offering rare beauty even in its most remote corner. So La Selva, like the other ancient mansions renovated and proposed by Acqua di Puglia , has been transformed into a charming vacation home where you can immerse yourself in all the charm of rural Apulia.
The restoration project of La Selva Ostuni
Working on the rebirth of La Selva, architect Brambilla wanted to give it new life but maintain the irregularity typical of Mediterranean structures. This led, for example, to keeping the original windows but turning them into French doors extended downward. The facade also remains original, whitewashed with lime instead of the plaster that used to be there, but with the addition of a beautiful wooden porch. To break with the property’s signature white, the three en suite rooms have been enhanced by small gardens, complemented by an outdoor shower and a sitting area surrounded by cactus and prickly pear trees. The goal was to create a kind of Hortus conclusus (the typical medieval garden of monasteries and convents) where the guest can enjoy total privacy and relaxation, but to do so with local materials: the carparo blocks used, in fact, were extracted from a Gallipoli quarry characterized by a beige color (unlike the local stone of Ostuni, which is lighter) so as to create contrast. In interior spaces, however, it is I color white that dominates the rooms and masonry, used to create comfortable spaces and to make bathroom, kitchen and fireplace countertops.
Inside La Selva Ostuni there is also no shortage of the famous pietra leccese stone, worked locally to create the old basins where cutlery is washed and the large sinks. The kitchen is in a delightful rustic-chic style, the large living room has aluminum windows equipped with a single sliding door to let in more light and let people enjoy more of the outdoor Apulian landscape, and the living room has a radiant floor so it has heating for the winter. Outside then La Selva Ostuni looks like a real farmhouse, with the gravel-covered yard, olive trees, and a large living area next to the pool and sunbathing area. The lighting was also designed ad hoc, with lamps tailor-made for La Selva Ostuni made of Lecce stone with the inclusion of low-power LED headlights. Grazing light was chosen as far as the exterior is concerned, while for the interior, overhead lights were chosen to better illuminate the furnishings, as if it were a kind of museum.
Acqua di Puglia, Massimo Brambilla’s vacation idea
Selva Ostuni is not the only ancient dwelling that is coming back to life in Apulia. Merit of the Acqua di Puglia project, not just an agency or a construction company, but a lifestyle based on sharing values such as: authenticity, elegance, uniqueness and simplicity. The brand was born within the Brambilla family, residents of Lake Como but great lovers of Puglia, where they are committed to redeveloping the area through careful renovations, resulting in elegant residences. Acqua di Puglia searches, scouts and wisely chooses properties nestled in the smallest historic centers or lost on the Salento coasts, aiming to give them a new life. The result is refined and elegant, one-of-a-kind homes that can excite by standing out from classic renovation.
Specifically in charge of renovations is Massimo Brambilla, a freelance architect with long experience in Italy and abroad(New York, Moscow, Kuwait City). His strong passion for restoration and archaeology lead him to design works aimed at enhancing Italy, mixing contemporary Italian design with the typical craftsmanship of small provincial towns: in the last two years numerous are his projects in Apulia and Sicily, where he transforms old houses into luxurious vacation homes. In 2018 , the Acqua di Puglia brand was born, in collaboration with his daughter Silvia, who is in charge of everything related to the communication sphere, and his wife Laura, who provides the necessary support for the furnishing phase of the facilities and customer management.
Massimo himself speaks thus about the philosophy behind his brand: “My many experiences in archaeology have taught me that nothing in living and building is left to chance. This is why I appreciate recovering and enhancing what I discover during construction, whether it be even a small signature left in pencil by the old master builder on the wall, rather than a noble fresco hidden under a more recent concrete plaster, trying to give it the importance that, many times, time or new fashions have obscured. This desire of mine, combined with the appreciation of the beauty of the area in which I work and its raw materials, always pushes me to reinterpret such authenticities in a new key, juxtaposing them with more contemporary materials. In this way, opposites coexist, many times creating strong contrasts typical of my designs.”