Studio Andrew Trotter demonstrate their unparalleled knowledge of Puglia’s buildings and landscapes by converting a once-abandoned villa into an alluring family home.

From the outset, Casolare Scarani embodies Studio Andrew Trotter’s signature style. In the past decade, the Barcelona-based, multi-disciplinary studio have unveiled an impressive number of projects in the Puglia region. So when founder Andrew Trotter first stumbled across the villa on one of his scouting trips, he was instantly sold on its size and charm and bookmarked it for a future project. “The house was beautiful and old, with great character, and not too big. We knew we’d found a gem; we just needed the right client,” he says. Not long after, he was approached by a family friend looking to move from Barcelona to Puglia with his wife – and the shoe fit right away.

“We Knew We’d Found a Gem”

Puglia’s countryside is dotted with two types of residential buildings: lamias and masserias. Traditionally, the smaller of the two, lamias, were stone sheds where local landowners could store their equipment, while the larger of the two, masserias, were where the affluent landowners lived. Casolare Scarani is a blend of the two; it possesses the style of a masseria while being the size of a lamia, which is quite unusual for the region, making it all the more desirable.

Before it was abandoned in the 60s, the building operated as a school for girls, leaving quite a mark on the local community. For the past six decades, it has been left vacant, eagerly awaiting its next chapter. While the villa’s dormant period meant it was in need of some serious making over, its original charm was still easily detectable – much to both the owners’ and Studio Andrew Trotter’s delight.

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The old stable has been converted into the dining room, with the kitchen to the side.

The Reawakening

In the interest of preserving the villa’s historic character, the studio have tried wherever possible to leave the exterior patina as they found it. “We spent an entire day with the owners scraping off years of flaky paint, revealing the beautiful stone underneath,” Andrew recalls. A local artisan who makes his own lime plaster and paints was enlisted to refresh the internal walls and ceilings, while the studio sourced local stone that matched the old floors perfectly.

The original floor plan needed to be reconfigured, and rooms needed to be added to accommodate the new owners. Spaces like the donkey house and stable, once serving a purpose, were obsolete and so were turned into the laundry and dining space, respectively. By peeling back only what was necessary, Studio Andrew Trotter have left the owners with an authentic piece of Puglia’s past – one that will serve them well into the future.

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Vaulted ceilings and stone floors reference traditional Italian farmhouses. Furniture has been kept minimal so as to reduce clutter and forge calming interior environments.

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The building’s stone exterior is largely untouched, accentuating its historical character.

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