Jonathan Tuckey Design have been appointed to work on two villas in the hills surrounding Lake Como in northern Italy.

Currently sitting as a pair of concrete skeletons halfway through construction, a change of ownership allowed a pause for reflection on the original design and an opportunity for a new intervention at an unconventional stage. Bound to an extent by the concrete and foundational structures already built, the proposal reimagines their spatial layout, their outlook towards the landscape, and considers an additive reinterpretation of material expressions defined foremostly by their concrete columns and slabs.

Drawing from the local Italian Liberty style or Arte Nuova buildings that permeate the villages around the lake, the project proposes the use of a mixture of rough, textured, dressed and decorative stone. Combined with the straight lines of the concrete, they form an ornamental expression along its exterior, finding a way of introducing details as upstands, downstands, water outlets and downpipes.

Throughout the interior, the material intention was defined by a commitment in revealing its concrete surfaces; an honesty to its structural body. The vast spaces are balanced and domesticated by insets of warm and detailed joinery along the walls and ceilings, occasionally scooping down to form long benches, readings nooks within the walls, or wrapping the stairs.