Interview: Matteo Thun discusses “flying” villa on new luxury complex

Distinguished architects from around the globe have all had a hand in designing a new luxury residential complex on Lake Garda, Italy, located in the Gardone Riviera resort, with names including David Chipperfield, Richard Meier and Matteo Thun.

Set in a 78,000m2 estate with fantastic lake views, the project consists of several villas, each designed by an internationally acclaimed architect as well as a clubhouse featuring high-quality amenities, designed by architect Matteo Thun, partner at Matteo Thun + Partners.

DesignMENA spoke to Thun about his designs for the villa and clubhouse and the overall concept for the project.

“We [were] invited to create the architecture and interiors for one villa and clubhouse for this ambitious paradise project,” he told us.

“Being Italian, Lake Garda is a childhood dream to me : lemons, olives, white limestone. For us it was of most importance to capture the spirit of the place and to create an architecture  that reflect its soul and [one] that is 360 degrees sustainable.”

Each villa was designed as an individual piece of art, conceptualised in this manner in order to break from the uniformity of residential developments and rather provide a project with unique properties .

“All different unique villas are harmoniously positioned in the master plan of the overall luxury resort but given a choice of different aesthetic,” Thun explained.

When asked whether the various architects came together for the different designs, Thun said that no, and that each architect or practice “worked independently on their own concepts”.

Describing his own design, Thun said: “The villa, which stretches out horizontally, echoing the layout of the terraces, has an overall surface area of about 500m2 spread over three floors; the basement is used for the wellness area and [grape] cellar.

“The whole  building  is directed towards the spectacular lake view. The villa is north-south oriented and open mainly to the east and west. Thanks to the cut and the volume, the building seems to almost fly.”

Thun said that sustainability played a major role within the project and was carefully integrated in the design: “All villas have low primary energy consumption. The heating and cooling of the villas is granted via radiation systems on the floor and the ceiling, thereby, disturbing drafts are avoided and an optimal indoor climate is assured.

“Moreover, the system allows to heat with lower water temperatures and cool with not too low water temperatures; thus the distribution losses for heating and cooling are intensely reduced.”

At the centre of it all is the clubhouse with its five design apartments, all designed by Thun. The clubhouse features a spa and wellness area, a library and a cigar room as well as a stylish restaurant with a panoramic terrace.

Explaining the design of the clubhouse, Thun said: “The Clubhouse is at the centre of the overall ensemble of Villa Eden. Its design is all about lightness and transparency. The complex of over 3,700m2 has five private apartments ranging in size from 100 200m2, a restaurant, a lounge and a wellness area with an indoor and outdoor spa reflects the key elements of the Mediterranean landscape.

“Glass walls play with the palette of Mediterranean colours, displaying blues and greens mixed in a check board pattern that recalls shades of water and vegetation.”

With many similar-style developments being launched across the Middle East including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, does Thun have plans to unveil any work in the region?

Thun explained that they have experienced some work in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and are currenrly involved in a project in Qatar.

He also added that “we have recently received a couple of requests from a major hotel group” but said that he is unable to reveal any more information for the time being.


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