WORDS Lindi Brownell Meiring
A dilapidated house in the Italian village of Civita, destroyed in a 1980s earthquake, has been restored by curator Federica Sala, in collaboration with designers Alberto Artesani and Frederik De Wachter of DWA Design Studio, to become a new Airbnb.
The home, which sees the Mayor of Civita as your host, forms part of Airbnb’s commitment to support local communities across the globe (you can read more about this on page 137 in VISI 89), something which is extremely important to co-founder Joe Gebbia. “This project is an incredible extension of our commitment to supporting rural villages around the world,” he says. “Our aim is to celebrate the heritage of these areas through art and design, while providing concrete ways for the towns to sustain their cultures and traditions.”
The project makes use of a long list of designers and artists, including renowned New York-based Italian artist Francesco Simeti, whose custom-made installation Plunged into Gullies, Entangled in Orchids, speaks to the village’s heritage and history. He, too, believes in the role Airbnb is playing in uplifting local communities. “I believe that Airbnb has the possibility to change the tourism model, making sure that those travellers who come to Civita can live there like a local, getting to know the history and the culture of the place,” he says.
In charge of the look and feel of the home, DWA Design Studio made use of both traditional and contemporary materials and finishes in the collection of multi-functional rooms, and incorporated a palette of blue, green, brown and grey throughout the space. “We didn’t change the original structure of the house, we only added one bathroom for the main bedroom,” says the team at DWA. “The house is divided into four areas on four different levels that are connected without doors. This is a dynamic space: we chose the furniture to keep this feeling and to provide people the opportunity to live in different areas in different ways during the day.”
Kvadrat fabrics were also used, alongside marble tableware by Mariotti Fulgent, Gerrit Rietveld chairs and Cassina designs, while Bitossi Home, Eligo and Servomuto Giardino Lamp designs feature in the kitchen. Young up-and-comers like David Aquini and Artful of Source also had a hand in the project.
Artist House, as it is known, can sleep five people and costs approximately R3 664 per night. The proceeds go towards the village’s cultural projects.
You can view the Airbnb listing here.