Villa M

2016 – 2019
Modica, Sicily
“Contemporary Transformations”


We are commissioned to convert buildings or houses that were poorly designed, or in some cases not designed at all. Most people have no knowledge of what design culture is. This applies to politicians too: the people who control the public purse strings hardly ever act with any awareness about the value of a design. That explains why in Italy - and this is even more true in Sicily - it is so hard to build well.

Most companies and private clients do not consider architects to be guarantors of building quality.

That said, it is also increasingly true that thoughtful people who are aware about the value of design call in our practice to remedy choices they do not agree with and buildings that lack identity.

Villa M was one such job.
A young couple bought a previously-built country cottage in a suburban area, on a semi-rural plot near the beautiful city of Modica, the pearl of the baroque.

From our initial site visit, it was clear that we shared a common vision and desire to give the existing structure its own identity, to turn an anonymous house into a piece of contemporary architecture with well-designed and meaningful spaces.

Our aim was to make it come alive, to ensure that the owners loved the place as their very own, and at the same time enhance the relationship between the property’s interior and exterior.

We designed a large ground floor living area and adjacent covered veranda, which define the house’s base elevation.

This area is an open space in contact with the outside, thanks to the continuity of large windows running along the front garden.

To the rear, the plot’s slope frees the volume from the basement and links it with the outside.

On this level, along the entire elevation we created a pergola, and a rectangular pool whose glinting reflections highlight the home’s pure volumes.

At the rearmost extremity, between the pool and the surrounding wall, three tall palm trees evoke the atmosphere of a David Hockney painting, in particular A Bigger Splash.

This full, vivid light that saturates everything is the same one that highlights the purity of architecture.

Design team
Architrend Architecture


Modica (RG)

Moreno Maggi, Giorgio Biazzo