Place: Punta Ala, Castiglione della Pescaia (GR), via della Tartana, 1
Author: Ignazio Gardella
Chronology: 1962 | 1966
Itinerary: Italy goes on vacation
Use: Holiday residence
The complex designed by Milanese architect Ignazio Gardella in the early sixties embraces a large part of the small port of Punta Ala. The residential complex is divided into two wings. The plan presents two long articulated blocks, which follow the port’s profile and are wedged towards the inland at the access to the port area. This almost symmetrical configuration means that, from the outside, Gardella’s architectures appear as an invitation, a kind of “gateway” to the sea.
The three-level volumes that constitute the residential complex have a ground floor for shops, set back from the jutting upper levels, holding two-storey houses.
This retraction creates a shaded area, which allows visitors to enjoy the commercial walk even during the hottest hours of the day.
Some recurrent stylistic features of Gardella’s lexicon emerge in the design of the fronts. These include careful proportioning of the façade sections, twin windows, care with ornamentation, and the attention placed on the design of the building’s crowning.
On the fronts, facing the promontory, the design’s rigid stereometry is jagged, defined in a composition of interconnected volumes referring to a lexicon derived from Mediterranean vernacular architecture.
Close up, we note Gardella’s attention to detail in the composition of the elevations. The inverted “T” shaped elements support the architraves. This system seems to bear the façade’s full weight, increasing the impression of suspension over the underlying emptiness.