Maggiano House, Otranto (Lecce)

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In Salento, Umberto Riva realized in the years 1991-1996 this house, a seemingly simple volume inside of which is open a courtyard arched plant  that continues in an arbor oriented towards the Gulf of Otranto. The cuts in the vertical walls allow you to moderate the entry of a very bright light; the terraces on the first and second floor instead allow you to immerse yourself fully in the Salento's sun and enjoy the sea views stretching to the horizon. (Figure 1)

Inspired by the architectural tradition of the region, particularly to the Puglia's farm, the building has typical features that integrate seamlessly into the urban context:

  • the court that enters the body of the building;
  • the garden enclosed by stone walls and placed at a higher level than the arbor entrance;
  • hedges on flat terraces;
  • the use of local stone materials.

The building is built entirely of blocks of local stone of Salento, Carparo plastered for the interior and Carparo plastered and Lecce stone for the exterior. Thanks to the tuff of Salento, easy to work, Riva can realize a compact volume whose edges are not yet perfectly etched, allowing the emergence of a delicate play of light. It is always a tuff, reduced to powder and mixed with lime and oxides, gives the plaster the ability to immerse themselves in the Mediterranean light, merging the building with the ground which seems to be a natural extension to the sky.