a bold and imaginative example of tropical Architecture & Interior Design
Nestled on the edge of a ridge in Marigot Bay, with uninterrupted views of the Caribbean sea, the neighbouring islands that dot the horizon and picturesque bays below, Villa Susanna is perhaps the most exquisitely designed and most luxurious private home on the island of Saint Lucia.
The design and location of this spacious and yet intimate property, has been thoughtfully considered to exploit both its mesmerizing views and the never ending prevailing cool breeze which sweeps constantly
throughout the villa. Villa Susanna, which takes its name from the owner’s wife and took three years to complete from 2010-2013, is a kaleidoscope of colours from turquoise blues and greens, earthy browns, burnt oranges, yellows and every variant in the middle. Add to this the abundance of well appointed, local and international, furnishings, decorative local artwork and paintings, it quickly makes
one appreciate that this is a truly one of a kind home. Perhaps one of the most striking aspects of Villa Susanna is that whilst it is an extremely large property, spaced amidst undulating walkways across 3 acres of lush green foliage, the architecture and interior design has created a wonderful sense of place. Easily said but rarely achieved by many properties of similar size and opulence, where little
of the location is reflected in the design language. Not so with Villa Susanna which, whilst reflecting significant influences of both its owners and designer’s Italian origins, has ensured that the Caribbean retains an equal source of inspiration in its design.
Meet the Designer
Q. When did you discover your love for architecture?
A. After earning my degree in Architecture in 2005 at the Politecnico of Milan, I moved to London where I attended a master’s degree in Interior and Spatial design at the Chelsea College of Art and Design. After the Master, I began working in London, where I had the chance to run different projects
all over Europe. In 2008 I returned to Italy where I worked developing my interest in interior design. Following projects ranging from hotels, residences and shops, increasing my knowledge in such areas. The passion and interest in different cultures took me around the world, increasing my knowledge and awareness of different ways of life and living. In 201o I founded Nomade Architettura Interior Design in Milan.
Q. What is your philosophy when it comes to your work as an architect?
A. I like to create environments with a strong personality. Every interior has to send a message, say something about the person who will inhabit it. The philosophy is to reflect the owner’s character, way of living, by joining their personality with a hint of taste and touch of Italian Design.
Q. How would you describe your style?
A. I would call my style eclectic. I like to mix materials and furniture coming from different places and cultures. The atmosphere comes from the unique interactions of the elements that fulfil the rooms, a dialogue between colours, materials, finishes, that each time create a
Q. Where did you source your materials and furniture?
A. Most of the materials and furniture come from Europe. The idea was to mix the Caribbean culture with the Italian origins and taste of the owners. You will notice a glass chandelier that was custom made in Venice for the villa, sofas and upholstery are custom made in Italy, the stones used in the bathroom are Botticino marble that come from the Italian Alps, the white granite from Sardinia, and the ceramics from south of Italy.
Q. What sort of feel did you have in mind for the décor, what was the source of your inspiration?
A. The idea was to create a unique feeling, mixing the Creole and Italian Cultures. The creole style is evident in the use of the building materials such as wood and the local bricks, also in the shaping of the roves. The Italian taste is more evident in the interiors, lighting, finishes, custom made furniture and so on. The idea was to create a house as open to the exteriors as possible, the threshold is almost not visible, as the desire was not to perceive a boundary between inside and outside.
Q. What do you feel is the villa unique selling point and what aspects of the villa are you most proud of?
A. I love how the villa is well integrated in the land, I love the sense of lightness and breath it gives. I love to see how every room is different and well integrated in a general discourse, every room is thought of as a special and unique gem, each to contribute to the main character of the villa.
Q. How would you describe the villa’s style and atmosphere?
A. I would define it as eclectic, unique, warm and relaxing, for the reasons mentioned above. The mix is
the key element. This combination of “Caribbean” architecture blended with European refinement is maintained throughout the buildings. The free flowing ease to which one can move around the various cottages speaks to the careful considerations that have gone into the spatial awareness of the property as a whole. The open plan living room/ dining room concept with dramatic columns, vaulted ceilings, wood-panelled flooring, decadently soft furnishings with a custom made wooden dining table, make this a central point of the entire Villa and a great space for entertaining.
Beyond the main house and entertainment area, there are three air conditioned cottages and an apartment. Amber Flamboyant: the spacious one bedroom cottage with king size bed, en-suite bathroom with shower, ceiling fan, walk-in closet, private patio with jetted bathtub. Yellow Heliconia: with its queen size bed, en-suite bathroom with shower, sitting area with wet bar, ceiling fan, private garden area with alfresco shower, together with a 2 twin bed bedroom extension with en-suite bathroom
shower, private garden with hammock.
And White Frangipani: with its King size bed, en-suite bathroom with shower together with a connecting twin bed bedroom with, en-suite bathroom with shower. Nomade Architettura & Interior Design is part of an International network of architectural Practices, that have joined to go beyond boundaries, the design of Villa Susanna, which we should point out is available for rent, is one which definitely goes beyond boundaries and redefines conventions.
When we asked Selina how would she describe the villa’s style and atmosphere, she said “eclectic, unique, warm and relaxing”. We would add inviting, inspirational, and elegant.
Febbraio 2016 – PDF