Kevin Fellingham Architecture, Gioiella, Umbria, 2011


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A belvedere terrace and steel pergola in the garden of a farmhouse in Umbria

This is a very small building designed to mediate between an existing house, its newly re-planned and re- planted garden, and an expansive landscape.

A steel framed pergola, making use of industrial steel sections and local wrought iron skills has been positioned so as to reinforce the relationship between the existing swimming pool and a new piazza formed between wings of the house. This aedicule sits on a circular belvedere terrace constructed using bricks and stone recycled from ruined outbuildings. It is built up to the level of the existing house, but projects out beyond the house in order to bring into play the entire sweep of the view from Monte Amiata, across the Val di Chiana to Montepulciano, ending in the tower of the local village church of Gioiella.

The paired steel columns hold the steel canopy at the same level as the canopy of a ginko tree and an umbrella pine which loosely hold the axis to the pool. The gap between the columns echoes the slot of light between the cypresses which hold the axis at the point where the garden meets the far horizon.

A grape vine and a wisteria have been planted so that their stems will braid with the columns, providing a green roof which changes colour, coverage and scent with the seasons.


  • Begun: Apr 2011
  • Completed: Jul 2011
  • Sectors: House, Landscape design
  • Total cost: £20,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Mar 2011
  • Procurement: Traditional
  • Address: La Gioisa, Localita la Villa, Gioiella, Umbria, Italy

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