EN­GLI­SH TEXTS.

THIS MONTH AD VISITS A VIL­LA IN ZAN­ZI­BAR BURSTING WI­TH JOIE DE VI­VRE, A HOU­SE ON THE ISLAND OF MY­KO­NOS AGLOW WI­TH THE SUNLIGHT OF THE CYCLADES, AND A HO­ME IN CA­TA­NIA WHERE ART OBJECTS TAKE FORM WI­TH AN EYE ON TRADITION. WE THEN EXPLORE A RE­SI­DEN­CE WI­TH A

AD (Italy) - - Storie. -

Spell­bound in Afri­ca

ON THE EA­ST COA­ST OF THE ISLAND OF ZAN­ZI­BAR A VIL­LA FITS PERFECTLY INTO THE LANDSCAPE, WI­TH A CONVIVIAL SPI­RIT THAT MAKES YOU NE­VER WANT TO LEAVE.

words RIC­CAR­DO BIAN­CHI – pho­tos GIOR­GIO BA­RO­NI

It all be­gan wi­th the doors, ni­ne in­laid beau­ties found at a lo­cal an­ti­que sto­re by the ow­ners, a fa­mous athle­te and his com­pa­nion. As in the lo­cal tradition, in whi­ch the fir­st parts of a hou­se to be in­stal­led are the doors. Thou­gh pe­rhaps that is a bit too sim­ple. We are in Zan­zi­bar, the crad­le of Swa­hi­li cul­tu­re, at the ed­ge of the vil­la­ge of Jam­bia­ni on the ea­st coa­st of the island, where the­re are fewer tou­rists (who li­ke the fa­ster pa­ce of Sto­ne To­wn, the old part of the ca­pi­tal). The ow­ners ex­plain: «We work wi­th a non-pro­fit or­ga­ni­za­tion that has a day­ca­re fa­ci­li­ty and a school he­re, so we wan­ted to ha­ve our own pla­ce, a pla­ce to in­vi­te our friends». The cou­ple did not re­no­va­te an exi­sting struc­tu­re. «We star­ted from scrat­ch, buy­ing the land and pre­pa­ring the de­si­gn. A cen­tral vo­lu­me, two small tur­re­ts, ea­ch on two le­vels wi­th a ter­ra­ce and a small out­door area, wi­th a sen­se of pri­va­cy. All con­nec­ted by a lar­ge open spa­ce wi­th a pit­ched roof in wood and that­ching. We li­ve in the cen­tral vo­lu­me, whi­le the two blocks, whi­ch are in­de­pen­dent, are for guests. To crea­te a “buf­fer zo­ne” of cool sha­de, the glass doors are set back from the fa­ca­de. But mu­ch of the li­fe of the hou­se hap­pens in the sha­ded out­door spa­ce. And then the­re’s the swim­ming pool». The hou­se looks as if it had al­ways been the­re, blen­ding wi­th na­tu­re and wi­th the lo­cal spon­ta­neous architecture. «Peo­ple seem to be ta­king it as a mo­del now. But buil­ding it was a real odys­sey. We had to im­port ma­ny ma­te­rials, even from Ita­ly. Fin­ding an elec­tri­cian he­re, so to speak, ta­kes mon­ths. Eve­ry day the­re was ano­ther pro­blem to sol­ve. It took two full years of work. But it has been fun». The hou­se is full of light, co­lors, li­fe, po­si­ti­ve ener­gy. The di­ning ta­ble in the form of a cro­co­di­le ca­me from an in­te­re­sting sto­re in Sto­ne To­wn, the Cu­rio Shop. The pain­tings are by Olim­pia Be­ni­ni, an ar­ti­st from Flo­ren­ce. The bao­bab in the gar­den was al­rea­dy the­re, joi­ned now by palm trees. The bea­ch is ju­st ou­tsi­de the ga­te.

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