N'orma Hotel
Ragusa, Italy
Patrizia Sbalchiero

N’orma marks the boundary between two ways of living and setting up one’s home, between modernity and tradition, nature and artifice, archetypes and innovation. Stone, tufa blocks, mortar, pantiles and reed matting are intrinsic elements of the construction techniques used in earlier times to make roofs and walls. Architect Patrizia Sbalchiero uses traditional materials and shapes to interpret rural living in a new way: the rhythmically spaced texture of the stone is juxtaposed with the smooth, white surface of the plaster, in a combination where the concreteness and solidity of the ancient materials blends with the purity and regularity of the lines and the proportions. Essential forms reflect a desire to give order and harmony to the rural landscape.

The volume made from stone and white plaster defines the entries, the passageways and the thresholds between the inside and the outside, between the areas inhabited by people and nature. The arrangement and spacing of the openings has been designed to enhance and optimise the relationship between guests and territory, orienting openings and vistas onto the fields that surround the building, whose windows look onto the open countryside. The basic component of the project defines the strategy to regain a close contact with the landscape and find a still unencumbered horizon.

Thus, after decades of neglect, the house has been given a new lease on life.

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