Giovì Relais: the charm and fascination of bygone days

MPTtre architects brings back to life a 19th century dwelling, giving it a new identity

by Malcolm Clark
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The objective of the young architects from MPTtre architectural office for the dwellings of Giovì relais in Polignano a Mare in southern Italy was to bring back to life the fascinating charm of bygone days characterised by small daily gestures.

Simple but elegant rooms in which the white recalls Mediterranean atmospheres and provides the backdrop to period furniture, matched with modern and essential solutions. In order to perfectly recover the splendid structure dating back to the early 19th Century, which now houses Giovì Relais, the designers resorted to ancient building techniques.

In order to make the most of the rooms and to give this dwelling a new identity, we preferred to use materials which are typical of our territory. The walls and the vaults, made with natural plasterwork and tuff stone, are enriched with local stone wall lights, knowingly forged by local craftsmen. In one of the rooms, the tuff stone has also become the ideal material for an original bed. Typical local stone slabs are used for the floors. Cocciopesto is the protagonist in the bathroom. This material, which has been used since Roman times, is used for the walls and washbasins and comes in various shades of terracotta red and goes well with ceramics, glass and steel. Finally the wood is knowingly restored to give new life to precious period pieces like wardrobes, beds, cupboards, desks and writing tables”.

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    Giovì relais 101

    Giovì relais

    Polignano A Mare Polignano a mare / Italy / 2011