Villa Alga is one of the best examples of organic architecture, the style most typically used in – and perhaps even endemic to – the Costa Smeralda. Half hidden away on the north side of the harbor of Porto Cervo, it was designed by the great architect Savin Couelle, and was also for many long years his home.
The subject of a skilful and thoughtful renovation by Berenice Vien dal Mare, the original spirit of Villa Alga has been preserved and enhanced. The old furnishings have given way to new solutions that maintain a calm and intelligent dialogue with its past. In the former study, just inside the entrance, a spectacular wine cellar has been created, the work of maestro Antonio Nivola of Orani, one of the greatest contemporary artistic talents in wooden sculpture.
From the living area, sumptuous but comfortable in perfect Berenice style, paths depart along which the invisible hand of the architect guides us in the exploration of this organic, perhaps psychological, structure. On the ground floor is a rational and bright world, complete with indoor and outdoor kitchens, both bordering a shaded patio devoted to the rituals of everyday life. On the lower floor, which is accessed by a sort of descending tunnel, the sleeping area – labyrinthine and vernacular like the unconscious – is full of asymmetrical details, small differences in height and surprising angles from which trompe l’œil details emerge (including the infamous nude of Venus concealed behind the door of the master bedroom), alongside archways and mysterious little doors.
The terrace, built on the roof, provides a front row seat for one of the most wondrous shows that the Costa Smeralda has to offer: the lazy amble of yachts departing the marina in the morning, and their extraordinary return in the evening – a multifarious, chaotic and simultaneous influx, managed by the acrobatic mooring team of Porto Cervo Marina with unparalleled skill.
MODEL ALESSIA TEDONE
HAIR & MAKE-UP ROBERTA MASIA
SET ASSISTANT ANDREA POLI