Casa Santa Teresa by Amelia Tavella is a gorgeous Corsican seaside holiday home

Amelia Tavella Architects has transformed an abandoned 1950s residence in France, into an ivory coloured, light filled holiday home with serene views of the Mediterranean Sea.

by Jincy Iype Published on : Jun 08, 2020

"When I build, I don’t defeat. There is no betrayal. I proceed by inclusion. Nature invades my projects. She is neither an obstacle nor a hindrance, she is my host whom I celebrate. I adapt to the trees, to the light, to the relief. It’s my way of balancing a modern gesture, architecture, with the tradition of a cliff, a ravine. There is something ancestral with nature. I am moved by it, often. I have so much passion for creating, inventing from an already written history.

Each time, it’s a gamble: to inscribe the building in the original space without shocking anything, moving or mistreating it. It’s an extension, not an amputation.” – Amelia Tavella, Principal Architect, Amelia Tavella Architectes

Large, pivoting, timber framed doors inside the stunning interiors of Casa Santa Teresa | Casa Santa Teresa in Corsica by Amelia Tavella Architects | STIRworld
Large, pivoting, timber framed doors inside the stunning interiors of Casa Santa Teresa Image Credit: Thibaut Dini

Such is the grace of skillfully done architectural transformations – abandoned, dying spaces are nursed back to life - extended, not severed, reviving a structure’s spirit. France-based Amelia Tavella Architectes has rebuilt and restored a house from the 1950s in the picturesque French island of Corsica. Located on Tavella’s native island on the Route des Sanguinaires in Ajaccio, Casa Santa Teresa is a gorgeous beachside holiday home injected with new life, with white, expansive interiors speckled with warm, beige coloured woodwork and openings. 

  • Casa Santa Teresa as seen from above | Casa Santa Teresa in Corsica by Amelia Tavella Architects | STIRworld
    Casa Santa Teresa as seen from above Image Credit: Thibaut Dini
  • Casa Santa Teresa is a sun kissed, seaside holiday home with unobstructed views to the Mediterranean Sea | Casa Santa Teresa in Corsica by Amelia Tavella Architects | STIRworld
    Casa Santa Teresa is a sun kissed, seaside holiday home with unobstructed views to the Mediterranean Sea Image Credit: Thibaut Dini

True to its location, Casa Santa Teresa is a sun kissed, seaside residence that revels in the landscape it is set within, celebrating beauty, nature and design. The minimally rustic residential design seems to invoke memories of a 'house by the sea', of evenings spent gazing at receding waves and enjoying the salty sea breeze out in an open terrace.

Casa Santa Teresa has an alfresco dining area and pool on its scenic terrace | Casa Santa Teresa in Corsica by Amelia Tavella Architects | STIRworld
Casa Santa Teresa has an alfresco dining area and pool on its scenic terrace Image Credit: Thibaut Dini

Amelia Tavella Architectes shares that the Corsican resort was rebuilt without leaving behind "vestiges of its past, its soul and its spirit". The house’s stunning coastline location adds onto its appeal, rendered in smooth, ivory white. Clear blue skies drift lazily over the holiday dwelling that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. A stone terrace peppered with flowers and plants extends out to a pool on its ground level, accompanied by an outdoor dining area. A set of slab steps lead to the beach nearby, that unfolds a few meters away. “It is the quintessential vacation home, the one that haunts my memory of happy childhood,” shares the French architect.  

The holiday home is a few steps away from the beach | Casa Santa Teresa in Corsica by Amelia Tavella Architects | STIRworld
The holiday home is a few steps away from the beach Image Credit: Thibaut Dini
Casa Santa Teresa’s terrace and pool area is peppered with plants and flowers | Casa Santa Teresa in Corsica by Amelia Tavella Architects | STIRworld
Casa Santa Teresa’s terrace and pool area is peppered with plants and flowers Image Credit: Thibaut Dini

The holiday home’s exterior and interior strike a poetic balance, never separate, depending on the softness and intensity of the sunlight that penetrates through three, massive pivoting framed timber doors and tan coloured, stripped shutters. The interiors seem larger than they actually are, as they are also painted white and have no partitions, providing clear views of the dazzling sea. The spacious, open plan living room involves a cozy fireplace, and has unadorned alcoves that lead to the rooms upstairs via a wooden staircase. “I wanted beauty to flow, to be an invitation to the horizon, to the imagination,” says Tavella.

Pleasure of baths, invasive nature, close proximity to the beach, rocks, the Mediterranean Sea. The house is as if extracted from the city, which is fading in favour of beauty, of silence. – Amelia Tavella
  • Bare, white walls and unadorned alcoves inside the vast living room | Casa Santa Teresa in Corsica by Amelia Tavella Architects | STIRworld
    Bare, white walls and unadorned alcoves inside the vast living room Image Credit: Thibaut Dini
  • The warm coloured bedroom with views to the sea on the upper floor | Casa Santa Teresa in Corsica by Amelia Tavella Architects | STIRworld
    The warm coloured bedroom with views to the sea on the upper floor Image Credit: Thibaut Dini
  • The expansive living room employs simple furniture | Casa Santa Teresa in Corsica by Amelia Tavella Architects | STIRworld
    The expansive living room employs simple furniture Image Credit: Thibaut Dini

Tavella employs natural, noble materials and colours, as seen in its balcony’s railings, which are made of rope stretched in a triangular sequence. Aqua, orange colored and striped cushions, along with suspended lamps with red and peach bands on them provide a pleasing contrast to the bare walled living room. The interiors also see arched mirrors and curved niches of various sizes, holding lamps, books and various other items, similar to the alcove in the living room. The soft lighting inside accentuates the warm, sensual feel of the summer house, leaving no trace of a former, decrepit structure.

The coloured cushions and suspended lamps provide a pleasing contrast | Casa Santa Teresa in Corsica by Amelia Tavella Architects | STIRworld
The coloured cushions and suspended lamps provide a pleasing contrast Image Credit: Thibaut Dini
Casa Santa Teresa softly lit at dusk | Casa Santa Teresa in Corsica by Amelia Tavella Architects | STIRworld
Casa Santa Teresa softly lit at dusk Image Credit: Thibaut Dini

Casa Santa Teresa by Amelia Tavella is a classic summer residence, honouring the Mediterranean resorts in the adjoining area. Tavella brings her own touch by using noble materials such as stone, wood, copper and terracotta, and building with it, a sensual structure in harmony with nature; a house of dreams. 

  • The balcony railings are made of rope | Casa Santa Teresa in Corsica by Amelia Tavella Architects | STIRworld
    The balcony railings are made of rope Image Credit: Thibaut Dini
  • Casa Santa Teresa’s study room | Casa Santa Teresa in Corsica by Amelia Tavella Architects | STIRworld
    Casa Santa Teresa’s study room Image Credit: Thibaut Dini

Project Details

Name: Casa Santa Teresa
Location: Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Year of completion: 2020
Architect: Amelia Tavella Architectes

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About Author

Jincy Iype

Jincy Iype

Iype is a trained architect, who often indulges in writing and amateur photography. She was a cinephile and a melophile even before she knew what those words meant. She is inclined towards architecture journalism, and can usually be found curled up reading a book, or cooking for therapeutic relief.

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