Ma­gi­cal ti­me

AD (Italy) - - Storie. - words pho­tos SO­PHIE DJERLAL – FRÉDÉRIC DUCOUT

ON LA­KE GAR­DA, AN AR­TI­ST-DE­SI­GNER TRANSFORMS A FA­MI­LY VIL­LA IN­TO A SPE­CIAL PLA­CE: A STU­DIO THAT IS AL­SO AN ESCAPE IN­TO NATURE. The lap­ping sound of small wa­ves breaks the si­len­ce of the la­ke­front at Vil­la Ma­ler­ba, not far from the pic­tu­re­sque port of De­sen­za­no del Gar­da. The con­struc­tion is sur­roun­ded by a two-hec­ta­re park wi­th age-old trees and an Ita­lian gar­den stud­ded wi­th Ro­man sta­tues. The buil­ding da­tes back to the la­te 1600s – ear­ly 1700s. For Giò di Bu­sca, ar­ti­st and ar­chi­tect, this is a fa­mi­ly ho­me. Whi­ch he has rein­ven­ted. «I wan­ted a mix­tu­re: to keep the hi­sto­ri­cal at­mo­sphe­re, but to add a mo­re mo­dern tou­ch. The ori­gi­nal struc­tu­re has been left in­tact, and the mo­dern aspect comes from the ad­di­tion of ma­ny lighting so­lu­tions in rooms that we­re on­ce dark and nar­row». He of­ten comes he­re to re­lax and work. Every cor­ner of the hou­se has views of the park, en­cou­ra­ging me­di­ta­tion. Eve­ry­thing is the­re to plea­se the eyes. The main hall wi­th its fi­ve-me­ter cei­lings is li­ke a ball­room. «Over the years this spa­ce has be­co­me an ate­lier, and it is a ve­ry sa­ti­sfy­ing pla­ce to work», the ow­ner says. «I ha­ve been pain­ting and dra­wing sin­ce I was seven. It has be­co­me in­di­spen­sa­ble for me. It is not so ea­sy to ap­proa­ch a blank can­vas. Pain­ting is ener­gy. An in­ner voya­ge». This un­com­mon stu­dio is de­co­ra­ted wi­th sculp­ted mar­ble co­lumns (from the Ve­ne­tian pa­la­ce of the Du­ke of Ber­ry), a lar­ge an­ti­que mar­ble fi­re­pla­ce and chan­de­liers in cry­stal and bron­ze, in the Fren­ch sty­le. Gio­van­ni Ma­ria Ma­ler­ba di Bu­sca lo­ves har­mo­ny, in the ba­lan­ce bet­ween pa­st and pre­sent. His work seam­les­sly shif­ts from pain­ting to ar­chi­tec­tu­re, jewel­ry to in­te­rior de­si­gn, fur­ni­tu­re to lighting fix­tu­res (he works wi­th com­pa­nies li­ke Co­lom­bo­sti­le and Lau­dar­te). His crea­tions spring from a de­si­re for uni­que, ori­gi­nal, pre­cious things. They com­bi­ne the finest ma­te­rials wi­th ex­cel­lent craftsmanship. «I want to ma­ke sculp­tu­re th­rou­gh fur­ni­tu­re», Di Bu­sca says. The di­stinc­ti­ve trait is great sen­si­ti­vi­ty in the re­la­tion­ship bet­ween vo­lu­mes and ma­te­rials. «My ap­pren­ti­ce­ship was in Pa­ris, wi­th Émi­le Gi­lio­li, an in­ter­na­tio­nal­ly re­no­w­ned sculp­tor», he re­calls. «He was a man of im­pres­si­ve sta­tu­re, wi­th a ra­ther cour­se ima­ge. But he ma­de ve­ry re­fi­ned works, of ex­tre­me de­li­ca­cy. As soon as he star­ted to sculpt, he be­ca­me a to­tal­ly dif­fe­rent per­son», the ar­ti­st re­calls. «He taught me how to work wi­th me­tal, steel, and then all the pas­sa­ges that lead from the dra­wing to the mold, the pla­ster ca­sting, and then the bron­ze, at the foun­dry... A pro­cess of fa­sci­na­ting pha­ses». Di Bu­sca has been able to trans­fer this sen­sa­tion in the pla­ce seen on the­se pa­ges, whe­re he spends about six mon­ths ea­ch year. «I was born in this hou­se, and I lo­ve this pla­ce», he says wi­th a smi­le. «He­re, over­loo­king the mo­st beau­ti­ful la­ke in Eu­ro­pe, I ha­ve all the spa­ce I could de­si­re in whi­ch to work. This pla­ce helps you to re­ge­ne­ra­te. Cloé and Co­ra, my two dogs, are in se­ven­th hea­ven when we co­me he­re for a long stay. I li­ke to feed the ducks that co­me to visit me in the gar­den, and so­me­ti­mes they even ven­tu­re in­to the stu­dio». At Vil­la Ma­ler­ba ti­me flo­ws at a cheer­ful, re­la­xed pa­ce: wal­king or day­drea­ming in the park, swim­ming in the pool, ta­king a spin on the la­ke wi­th the Ri­va sto­red in the boa­thou­se, or ad­mi­ring the sculp­tu­res of the ow­ner in one of the sum­mer pa­vi­lions ad­ja­cent to the vil­la, al­so a pla­ce for par­ties. «I don’t need to go to hea­ven», Di Bu­sca con­clu­des.

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