Listing of the Day
Location: Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy
Price: €16.5 million (US$17.4 million)
Construction has been restricted since 1960 on the exclusive 20-kilometer stretch of coastline known as Costa Smeralda,. And since it’s no longer possible to add any new homes, this estate, with front-row access to the crystal clear sea and semi-private beach, is a particularly desirable, and rare, buy. The German owner, an art collector is selling his architect-designed villa after 30 years.
It also comes with the opportunity for expansion, which would allow a new owner to create what agent John Bracco, the director of Immobilsarda, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, believes could be one of the most sought-after properties in the whole of this ritzy enclave of Sardinia.
The house itself is on the smaller side, at 278 square meters (2,992 square feet) with three bedrooms and three en-suite bathrooms, but it’s set on a generous 2,700-square- meter (29,000-square-foot) plot.
This is one of several villas in the area designed by American architect Peter Thorton Schneck, reflecting a vernacular that was in vogue during the 1960s and ‘70s: linear and simple in style, using local materials such as stone, and colors inspired by nature.
He moved to Italy in the ’60s, from the New York City architectural practice Skidmore Owings & Merrill. Upon his arrival, he was assigned to the design team by the Aga Khan, who at this time had bought a slice of land on the Sardinian coast to build a new high-end resort.
Clambering out of the sea from a swim, the villa is barely visible above surrounding vegetation, thanks to its single-story construction and curved flat roof. “When planning the villa, special attention was given to the choice of construction materials and architectural design that respects the natural landscape and preserves the natural beauty of the area,” Mr. Bracco said.
Inside, the thick, curved walls and low ceilings create a whitewashed cave-like cocooning space with interesting nooks and low sunken seating areas.
Both the living room and adjoining area have their own open fireplace for cooler winter weather; in the summer there is a sheltered interior and outdoor patio for breakfasts looking over the water. The partly shaded terrace opens to the sea and a path that takes you to the water’s edge.
There is no swimming pool, but the owner has been given approval to add one, as well as a new indoor and outdoor living area.
The town of Porto Cervo was created in the ’60s by the Aga Khan as a playground for rich and famous yacht lovers.
Owners are now international, mostly Northern Europeans, Russians and Middle Easterners, a sprinkling of celebrities and well-known businessmen. The villa is in what Mr. Bracco described as the “real heart” of Porto Cervo, near the Pitrizza five-star hotel, and five minutes from “the best lounges, renowned restaurants and luxurious boutiques,” as well as the Yacht Club and Pevero Golf Club.
The villa, meanwhile, looks out over the Maddalena archipelago, a collection of seven large islands and 55 tiny rocky isolotti.
Agent: John Bracco, director of Immobilsarda, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate
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