To the uninitiated the Villa Malaparte, built in 1938 by the Rationalist architect Adalberto Libera in Punta Massullo on the Isle of Capri, is something of an anomaly. A perilously exposed site, a ‘house’ which clings to the jagged coast and the almost impossible access. Known to the architectural cognoscenti worldwide, it is a place I’ve wanted to visit in person for many years and my recent trip didn’t disappoint.
I have long held the belief that buildings should be appreciated and unfold upon approach. It is the ritual of arrival and the discovery of space within that culminates in the interaction of the site and the views back outwards. With this in mind, there is no example quite like this house, so I took a long walk, first visiting the Villa Tiberius, built 2000 years before and on another cliff, to discover this house as intended, on foot. It is quite an experience.
Architecture, landscape and the relationship between them is one of my deepest interests as is redefining a modern Architecture from a classical or traditional idiom. Libera among other Italian 20th Century Architects achieves just this.