Location: La Rocca, near Pietrasanta, Italy
Overview: La Rocca (The Rock) is an incredible place located close to the coast in Tuscany, perched on a small hill with 360 degree views out towards the mediterranean coastline and back towards the mountains. The quirky house and outbuildings are arranged on various levels around the ancient walls, creating enclosures and intimate spaces.
Design Brief: Work with existing spaces to create areas to relax, entertain and dine in, suitable for a young family.
The main courtyard has been designed as an area to relax in; the high walls and planting surrounds a small circular terrace which creates a protective feeling and the family love being here; reading a book, having a coffee and falling asleep on the sofa. We have used a simple planting of lavender, agapanthus, plumbago, roses and lantana in tones of blue and soft yellow with splashes of orange. Lemons in pots and clipped box gives a little structure. The fantastic old walls are contrasted by the use of contemporary furniture and a few modern pieces of lighting.
Steps and an upper walkway connect to a terrace overlooking the coastline and the Mediterranean sea. A large dining table and sofa and chairs make this a lovely area to entertain guests in and stargaze during the summer.
On the other side of the courtyard a narrow walkway lined with quirky brick and stone columns leads to a guest apartment and a covered terrace planted with exotic scented Jasmine overlooking the raised swimming pool. Below, a fine lawn is edged with simple clipped myrtle ‘cushions’ providing a secluded area for loungers and space for children to play.
Our approach has been mindful to limit watering and use plants that are easy to care for but have a long season of interest. Ambient lighting is provided by very small copper fixtures, up lighting walls, paths and trees.
This is an ongoing project with stage 2 commencing Autumn 2015 – the development of west terraces