Inhabitat: What were the client’s needs for this project? What would you have done differently if you didn’t have to take the client into account? For instance, if you were building this residence for yourself?
The client is a friend and he was totally immersed in the design process with us. Many clients would have given up on some of the difficult things we managed to do so, contrary to your question, I do not think this project would have been nearly as successful as it is without the client.
Inhabitat: What risks and challenges were involved in building on this location?
Building on a rock face was always going to be difficult. Couple that with the remoteness of the site and the challenge became immense. The main risks revolved around the stability of the rock itself and being able to create a foothold platform from which all future construction was made possible. The remoteness played its part by limiting the size of any component that could be brought to site. Although it has been carefully concealed, the main bedroom wing is a very large vierendeel truss that had to be delivered in individual parts and erected by hand and chain-winch.
Inhabitat: What challenges did you face in incorporating nature (rock and foliage) in this design?
Probably convincing everyone involved that that is what we were trying to do. Protecting the rock and the landscaping became almost obsessive. One spill of concrete or accidental felling of a tree would have been a disaster.
Inhabitat: What’s the #1 thing you want people to know about this project, or your work as a whole?
We get excited about our work because we are constantly trying to break new ground and create wonderful architecture. Villa Amanzi is a very important place on that journey as it allowed us to take our ideas of an open tropical environment to the limit.