“Indoor and outdoor are a thin line that moves not only according to the seasons, but also to the possibility of living and enjoying the spaces”.
Our interview with Federica Russo, architect and co-founder of the international Valari network, specialized in Italian luxury homes.
Federica Russo, co-founder of Valari, is an architect with many years of experience at famous studios such as Haworth Tompkins, Allies & Morrison and Massimiliano Fuksas.
A house in Italy: since the days of the Grand Tour in 1600, that’s the secret dream of anyone who has not had the good fortune to be born in this beautiful country.
The professionals of Valari are well aware of this. Valari is a network of architects, landscape designers and construction experts all made in Italy but specialized in the management of the ever growing international demands in the hospitality sector in Italy.
Puglia, Sicily, Tuscany, Tuscia but also Piedmont and Lombardy are the most requested locations by foreign customers at the Valari offices in London, Paris and Amsterdam.
We had the reasons explained directly by the architect and co-founder of Valari, Federica Russo.
Last month we talked about domestic tourism and seasonal adjustment procedures: how important are these concepts for a foreign tourist or investor?
The so-called seasonal adjustment is certainly not new for foreign customers; but rather, it is part of their normal concept of vacation. Many of our buyers who build a second home in Italy don’t do it to come in the summer, with the wet heat and overcrowding. They prefer mid-seasons or even winter, the periods that we Italians consider “out of season”.
But beware: for an Englishman, a Dutchman or a Russian, in Italy is always “good season”!
Even companies that normally work in the summer as beaches or cocktail bars by the sea can now safely work even in winter by protecting their outdoor with solutions such as Pareo Up, the first telescopic windbreak barrier.
What does a foreign customer usually look for from a house in Italy?
As we said, this year the flow of international tourism and the movement towards second homes has shifted even more towards the autumn following a softening of the regulation on Covid-19 which occurred in some countries only at the end of the summer.
For such a customer, therefore, it becomes even more important to have covered but external spaces where you can perceive contact with the landscape without suffering from the temperature or the rain.
So how important is outdoor living in your projects?
It constitutes at least 50% of all our concepts. In Italy, particularly in the South, life can take place almost more outside than inside, even in the winter months.
This is why landscape design and outdoor living are central to the development of each of our hospitality projects. We work on it from the earliest steps together with the landscape architect Simona Serafino, so that hard and soft landscape are an integral part of the original idea and not an option to add, if anything, at the completion of the construction site.
There are more and more foreign investments in the hospitality sector in Italy, the country where it is always “good season”. An outdoor area protected by transparent roofs and windows such as Nubes and Visio gives the customer the experience he expects to live regardless of the weather conditions.
You talked a lot about landscape: I imagine it is one of the essential factors that guide the choices of your customers.
Obviously, the landscape is an integral part of the experience we offer and one of the main reasons why our customers decide to buy or even build a second house in Italy.
Working with Simona on the landscape we do not neglect any detail, starting from the paths and landscape areas up to the selections of local essences to be included in the project. Making the landscape perceive as part of the project is fundamental for us: the inside and outside are a thin line that can be moved according to the seasons but above all to the possibility of being able to live and enjoy one’s own spaces.
Valari promotes an innovative and international approach combining it with the best of labor and materials of the local tradition, as well as the concept of indoor is increasingly merging with that of outdoor, also thanks to solutions able to make the border between the outside and the inside invisible.
A sliding or packable panoramic glass window such as Visio Flow or Visio Fold is ideal for those who need to delimit certain spaces of their outdoor area without losing the perception of contact with the external environment.