As an open embrace of its idyllic and arid surrounds, Studio Andrew Trotter’s Villa Cardo drinks in the rich landscape of Puglia as an open love letter to the region and its past.
As designers and architects, the role often extends beyond the physical and morphs into the intangible, evoking feelings that resonate. At its heart, architecture tells a story, transforming a conceptual idea to a finished form.
Andrew Trotter sourced all materials for Villa Cardo locally, including the sandstone walls called Tufo and limestone flooring – as seen in the vaulted dining space, which features the J39 chairs by Børge Mogensen with a vintage table.
LRNCE ceramics, handcrafted in Morocco invite playful colour into the home.
Studio Andrew Trotter director Andrew Trotter says of his inspiration “The house reflects the old buildings of Puglia – the thick white stonewalls, stone floors and narrow windows with shutters. They all tell of the history of the area and those that have lived here over time.” Ideas of tradition, locality and craft are core to his practice and seeing these all take form and be interpreted as the building responds to the surroundings is a testament to those pillars.
“We always try to source everything as close to the site as possible,” Andrew says. “The Tufo (sandstone) walls are from two kilometres away, the windows are made locally, the limestone flooring is local too. A building needs to fit the context that it is in and if you use local materials, then half of the work is done for you.” The simplicity and clean restraint of the surrounding and traditional buildings set the tone for all that comes next and Villa Cardo is no exception.
Washbasins, kitchen sink and bath were created using a bespoke terrazzo finish by Huguet Mallorca.
Studio Andrew Trotter created areas to relax and entertain around the home’s exterior, including an outdoor kitchen shaded by a bamboo canopy. This outdoor nook features wall lamps designed by the studio and vintage stools.
The three-bedroom home occupies a site with an abundance of olive and almond trees. While anchored to its site through the thick and weighted architectural elements, the geometric open staircase leads to an open roof terrace, with views stretching out to the ocean. “The house sits in the countryside,” Andrew adds, “so it was important for it to feel relaxed and humble and that the whole house can be opened up, so you feel connected with the nature that surrounds.
A truly quiet escape, Villa Cardo speaks to a time of simplicity and living harmoniously with the landscape, offering lessons in its subtleties. “The house is angled to work best with the sun and the light,” Andrew says, “and the pool becomes a key connection between what it is to be human and what is nature.” In its honesty and openness and through not trying to change or alter what has already been formulated, Studio Andrew Trotter allows an unmatched stillness to present itself.