Global Architecture & Interiors

Design Destination | Borgo Gallana by Studio Andrew Trotter

A series of white shapes sit quietly among the olive trees in Puglia’s countryside; the haunt of revered Barcelona-based design office Studio Andrew Trotter.

Puglia, Italy, is renowned for its rocky cliffs, red soil and secluded coves – and of course, its olive trees (the region accounts for around 40 per cent of the country’s total olive oil production). It also happens to be the home of several traditional white stone buildings – some recognisably designed by Studio Andrew Trotter.

The designer’s lates project, Borgo Gallana, materialises as a trio of boutique hotels outside the town of Oria, owned by local Giuseppe De Vanna. “The best moments of my life have always been linked to my time in Puglia,” Giuseppe says, as he fondly recalls “summers spent by the sea” and “views between the olive trees”. Borgo Gallana was born out of a desire to recreate these simple moments and let others experience them too.

Vaulted ceilings and cement floors reference traditional Italian farmhouses. Each house is made up of locally-sourced ‘tufo’ sandstone, an age-old material made from volcanic ash.

“My Puglia buildings work so well because they’re not a copy of the old but a re-addition of what is,” Andrew says. “They’re quietly simple, and I think people will always like simplicity.” Simplicity is at the core of Borgo Gallana, which is what led Giuseppe to consult Andrew in the first place. That, and the fact that he had already designed a small collection of boutique hotels in the area. The rest is history; Andrew and his team have translated Giuseppe’s ties to the region into an authentic site of immersion and connection right in the heart of the Puglia countryside.

Dubbed ‘Casa Camino’, ‘Casa Luce’ and ‘Casa Limone’, each Borgo Gallana house has a living area, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, private garden, outdoor relaxation area and masonry bath and shower. Guests can look out their windows to an enchanting scene of native grass, olive trees and a 40-square-metre pool.

The interiors convey a warm, countryside feel; vintage tables and chairs, terracotta pots, natural woven rugs, copper taps and stone benches.

Calling on local materials and traditional building methods, Studio Andrew Trotter have conveyed ‘the simple life’ of Puglia through an old farmhouse feel. Each house embraces a classic white sandstone exterior, cement floors, vaulted ceilings, dusty neutrals and minimal furnishings. Warm light from the surrounding countryside permeates the interiors through large arched windows and doors – a feature carried through centuries of Italian architecture.

Andrew has a way of describing buildings like they’re living beings. “All buildings have a reason, you see. Mine, they’re part of tradition.” Borgo Gallana stands as an unprecedented opportunity to experience Puglia through the lens of those who know it best – keeping the traditions and histories of the region alive.

Each house has a private garden, outdoor relaxation area and masonry bath and shower (in addition to the communal garden and pool).

Guests can relax by the 40-square-metre pool, nestled amongst the olive trees.

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