Situated along the coast of the Aegean Sea in Turkey’s southwestern province of Muğla, the private Dolunay villa has been carefully sited amid the natural rugged setting, prioritizing the spectacular sea views. The site is accessed from the north, with a curving road that leads to the drop-off for the villa. The design uses the natural contours of the site to create a low-rise building that appears as a single storey structure on approach.
The house is embedded within a beautiful Mediterranean garden that offers a multi-sensory experience with fragrant plants such as thyme and lavender alongside rich seasonal planting and mature olive trees. The main entrance takes you directly to the heart of the villa with the private family quarters to the eastern side, orientated to respond to the contours of the site, and the public living and dining areas to the west, with exceptional views of the setting sun over the Aegean.
The journey through the villa is from ‘opaque to open’, reflecting the differing levels of privacy throughout and the design seeks to blur the boundaries between inside and outside living, with the large glass doors along the façade that slide back completely providing an unobstructed flow of space between the interior and exterior spaces.
“There’s a real split between the public forum and the private. A sense of discovery and a richness of experience comes through in the way the spaces change as you walk through the site,” said Niall Dempsey, Partner, Foster + Partners.
The full scale is revealed by following the gradient of the sloped site to the south side, where it switches into a two-storey structure, partially embedded it into the landscape. The unexpected transition between the one and two-storey sides to the villa is reflected externally in the material finishes. Its windowless north side is lined with stone and timber slats, while the south sea-facing side is enveloped by large areas of glazing.
The house features a handcrafted undulating structural timber roof, designed in conjunction with Swiss firm Blumer Lehmann. The prefabricated and precision-engineered structure contains substantially less carbon than a typical concrete roof. The solid structural oak beams rest on steel columns, supporting a large 7.5m cantilever, providing generous outdoor shaded spaces and cool shaded courtyards to the rear.