Like a rare jewel, a magnificent residence situated on the coast of the Agean Sea glitters in the sunlight, with its massive windows and a distinctive undulating roofline. The minimalist home offers a Zen environment that is entirely focused on the sea and its surroundings. Despite its clean lines and modern appeal, it exudes a quiet luxury that is magnified by its setting.
Located in Turkey’s southwestern province of Muğla, the Dolunay Villa is nestled in a seaside cliff on a rugged stretch along the Agean. Entering from the north, a winding lane leads to the private vill that is fully oriented toward the indescribable sea views. The pitch of the landscape allowed designers Foster and Partners to create what looks like a low, single-level home surrounded by captivating Mediterranean gardens. The beds are filled with fragrant native plantings such as lavender, thyme and rosemary, along with iconic olive trees.
Entering the 1,668-square-meter home (nearly 18,000 square feet), it is immediately obvious that that structure is focused on the water views. The layout of the house confines the public living areas to the west and the private family rooms to the east. To the south, the entire home is faced with glass to provide sweeping views of the sea and coastline. All natural and neutral interiors of the home are ideal because there is nothing cat can or should compete with the views.
Throughout the home, the floor plan is largely open and creates an airy environment that feels in sync with the outdoors. Part of this comes from the massive glass panels that slide open to dissolve the boundaries between indoors and out. Other areas are described as more “opaque” to offer the family the proper levels of privacy. The landscape and terrain around the villa gave rise to the inspiration for its interior. An all-natural, neutral palette of stone, wood, and bronze mirrors the colors and textures found outdoors. Oak pieces paired with leather furnishings create a very laid back but eminently elegant atmosphere for this seaside residence.
The changing light of the day also creates different moods inside the wide-open living and dining space. Even when the glass panel are closed, the room feels like it is one with the patio, and by extension, the sea and landscape beyond. Everything in the open-plan space is designed with the view in mind, so lighting is confined to spotlights in the ceiling and minimalist floor and table lamps in the living area.
The sole suspension light fixture is positioned over the massive dining table. Appropriately, it is a minimal contemporary fixture with clear glass globes and a slim profile. Here you can see how the floor-to-ceiling unit that combines low storage and modern display shelving offers a perceptual division between the living room and the dining room without blocking any natural light or views.
A very elegant sweeping staircase links the upper and lower levels. Crafted from solid Portuguese limestone, it appears to float unsupported, but inside the stone, post-tensioned cables provide the necessary positioning and stability. The light and airy nature of the staircase is enhanced by the light timber handrail that was bent and shaped on-site. Another unusual feature of this staircase are the balusters, which are made from thin glass tubes instead of the usual wood or metal. The landing area offers the perfect space for displaying a large sculpture and a big piece of wall art. Although the overall palette of the house is neutral, the blue artwork seems to mirror the sea outside the window and brings in just a touch of the same variegated color of the water.
The bathrooms are also like minimalist works of art themselves. a long, sleek vanity is highlighted by innovative underlighting and features custom vessel sinks and faucet hardware that has a vintage look. A central stone unit is a focal point and provides extra countertop space while the carved wooden door brings a softer feeling to the all-stone space.
The unique roofline was designed in collaboration with Blumer Lehmann of Switzerland and is handcrafted from structural timber. This roof is eco-friendly because it was prefabricated and the material and process have a much lower carb0n footprint than a concrete roof would. Steel columns support the roof with its huge 7.5-meter cantilevered section that shades the patio and the glass facade.