Mediterranean Living :: House Tour of the Martinuzzi Villa

Mediterranean Living :: House Tour of the Martinuzzi Villa

440 440 Velvet

There are several things about the Mediterranean that are quite striking, at least at first. The climate is probably what comes initially in mind with cold, moist winters and hot, dry summers. Endless plots of olive trees is definitely the next thing. Olive trees are the trademark of Mediterranean living.  For us who live in the Mediterranean (like myself), we surely take so much pride in them and value their produce perhaps more than anyone else. Owning a plot with olive trees and other fruit trees including a dream summer residence somewhere among those blessed trees is pretty much a norm thing to wish for. Some are fortunate enough to already own one. This house tour is about a summer residence in Pula, Croatia whose leading architect was Natasa Jozipovic for Tobis inzenjering. Its setting is a green plot with some of the most typical Mediterranean greenery. Read on and see for yourself the depth and serenity of this beautiful home with its stone paved paths that suggest numerous ways to enjoy the outdoors as much as the indoors.

Another view of the Martinuzzi Villa after sunset hours. The top floor has a facade of light gray panels while the ground floor is made of stone

The house, some 328 sq. meters, was first built in 1890 out of stone, but the new owner wanted to upgrade it by combining the old with the new. This guideline was enough to create a design approach based on maintaining the ground floor out of stone with the existing staircase while updating the top floor with a new composition of glazed surfaces – openings and facade panels in an arrangement of varying sizes. The outcome is a stunning combination based on contrasts both in terms of volumes, materials and finishes.

On the ground floor, the arches, a typical Mediterranean architectural feature have been preserved. However, there is no red brick tile sloping roof, another typical Mediterranean architectural feature. Instead, it has been replaced by facade panels and glazed openings along the north to south axis of the floor plans that act as light sources to the access corridor between the east and west parts of the house. Moreover, the ceiling of the ground floor has also openings with glazing atop to allow the distilment of natural and abundant Mediterranean light to the ground floor.


The top floor has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Two of the bedrooms have access to a terrace onto which a slim pergola was added as if it is extruded out of the building. Again, a contrast is created between the new pergola with the old arches. Take note that despite the modern interior decor, the house exudes a quality of warmth and coziness. Furthermore, a new activity outdoor hub was created with the new pool and the oven for bbqs.


Isn’t a beautiful house? Just imagine all the get togethers with friends for bbq nights or a swim in the pool. But what makes this house really special? Its history and heritage that can be felt throughout when we take a closer look at the spaces; its spirit literally lives on despite the use of new materials and the creation of new features. As a matter of fact, these new entries only project a fresh uptake on a beautiful old house that is about to transit into a new era. I hope you like it as much as I did. Don’t forget to tell me what you think of it in the comment section below.

Yours truly,

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