Villa La Saracena
Photographic reportage of La Saracena designed by the architect Luigi Moretti in Santa Marinella (RM).
Even if the villa has been documented in a state of decay (the photos have been taken on March 2017), it is now object of an architectural restoring.
Photography by Emiliano and Lorenzo Zandri (ZA²).
La Saracena was commissioned to Luigi Moretti by Francesco Malgieri, journalist of Corriere della Sera, for her daughter, Luciana Pignatelli d'Aragona Cortez. It is annexed to the so-called unfinished triptych of Santa Marinella, comprising the Califfa and Moresca villas.
The yard began on 1956 and finished on December 1957.
The villa extends its length following the shape of the lot, which gives it the main axial: from one side, it is close to the road, to the other one, it is opened to the sea, looking for a visual contact to the Mediterranean landscape.
The sequence of the spatial dynamic grows in plan, according to the rhythm scanned by the central gallery, which represents the symmetric axis of space distribution.
The entrance to the gallery is from the street, through a narrow entrance opening into an elliptical patio, the "vestibule" of the villa, where the whole composition and the plastic architectural expression are perceived.
Once inside the house, the sleeping area - divided into two levels - is on the left of the main gallery; while, on the right, the living area and the services are found.
Centrally, from one side, the gallery suggests the entrance to the external garden and, on another one, is leading to the main big room, throughout a thiny membrane of modular fixtures and a circular space entering into the stubborn linearity of the gallery itself. Behind that, there is a private open space, on which the services are organized.
The general structure is an expression of the time in which Luigi Moretti was working, characterized by the continuous research about the human mechanisms, and the expression of Michelangelo and Borromini‘s compositions.
Inside the house, the walls produce emotional qualities: they have a load, a tapered design with the decrease of loads, as a support and spatial force of space. The compactness of La Saracena's building, carefully pursued in an execution aimed at avoiding any sign of resumption of plaster - preceded by various tests, with cretons of various granulometry – is made in order to create a single building.
The material shrinks in the side of the patio to "counteract the pressure of the outside world", and then is dilated almost to disappear to the sea, where it can go, ideally, toward the infinity.
The form is thus becoming structure, while the space the conquest against the opposition of the world.
The descendant way to the seaside reveals a further space: the natural one, composed by the grotton, which was highlighted by dynamic gate and designed by the American artist Claire Falkenstein, actually ruined by time.