A house of stone in Palermo is an almost single-material residence. Antonio Iraci wanted to explore virtually every possibility that natural stone can give in the exterior walls, in the walls’ backgrounds, in individual, minimal details. A new manifesto of the use of authentic materials.
By Giorgio Tartaro
Antonio Iraci doesn’t necessarily fall in love with a material. As I know him, he often falls in love with the compositional and performing possibilities, even beyond the limits at times, that a single material can give. Every modern demiurge model, wood, metal, concrete, and stone were sourced based on the project’s need with unexpected and surprising results.
Also playing with different declinations and shapes but avoiding camouflage.
The material is revealed only as one approaches it, but do not mistake it with something else.
I often discuss with those who consider the architecture of Iraci as daughters of the same sign. This sign is a clear translation from the project into the modern, the contemporary. These two terms are certainly not discordant, but one refers to the style and the other to a continuous improvement given by the new processing possibilities.
Antonio draws everything and while he does, he surprises himself and others.
A house of stone in Palermo is a project within a compact residential complex. The complex’s total area is 2500 square meters, while the floorplan of the Villa has a strong development on the ground floor with 300 square meters and the first floor with 60 square meters.
Therefore, the ground floor of the Villa has a privileged and integral relationship with the entire residential complex. The Villa extends and interfaces with the external environment, while the first floor houses a private studio with generous outdoor space.
The stone house is “geolocalized” in the sense that the primary material used is the stone billiemi, a stone typical from the chain of the Mountains of Palermo and a reference that is strongly wanted and sought after.
The structure is completely covered with stone both on the floor and on the walls, ceilings, and some furniture; the only contrast is the presence of wood in a longitudinal septum that crosses the internal/ external Villa and the winding staircase made with a single block of white Corian.
Outside, the pool is covered in billiemi stone and is made with an overflow of water.
As it often happens with Iraci’s projects, it is the architectural text that speak above all else. Defined as a real manifesto, this Palermo project. We must refer to the great Mies and his lectures barriers, stone surfaces, glass, water surfaces and other elements that Iraci brings in his projects by exchanging them.