Villa Romboli: Renovating a Historic Art Nouveau Gem in Pisa

Villa Romboli, a historic Art Nouveau residence in Pisa, Italy, has undergone a major renovation led by Pierattelli Architetture. Preserving its original structural and decorative elements, the apartment-style property now houses the sales offices and a cafeteria for Marina Development Corporation, a company dedicated to sustainable redevelopment of tourist destinations. The interiors, designed by Delfina Design, blend the building’s historic charm with contemporary functionality, creating a welcoming workspace open to the public.

Ornate architectural details, plush furnishings, and geometric patterned flooring create a sophisticated ambiance.
Ornate, expansive room with white furniture, intricate tile flooring, and art sculptures.
Ornate marble floors and walls, simple furnishings, and a distant view through an open door.
Ornate ceiling and tile flooring in a grand architectural space with minimalist seating.
Ornate ceiling, checkered marble floor, wooden benches in a grand, historic-style entryway.
A stylish office space with ornate ceiling, wooden furniture, and minimalist decor.
A grand, ornately decorated meeting room with a large wooden table and plush chairs.
A modern office space with a large ornate light fixture, a wooden desk, and a window offering a scenic view.
Elegant Mediterranean-style architecture with arched windows, louvered shutters, and a sculpture.

About Villa Romboli

After more than a century, the historic Art Nouveau residence of Villa Romboli has reclaimed its former glory. Perched along the Bocca d’Arno in Pisa, Italy, this iconic property has undergone a meticulous renovation, preserving its rich heritage while embracing contemporary functionality.

A Sustainable Rebirth

Overseen by the Superintendence, the restoration process was supported by Marina Development Corporation, a real estate company dedicated to the sustainable redevelopment of tourist destinations. The renowned Pierattelli Architetture studio guided the architectural restoration, while Delfina Design, a Dubai-based boutique studio led by Italian architect Delfina Cortese, crafted the captivating interior.

Blending Old and New

The design philosophy behind the redevelopment of Villa Romboli sought to strike a delicate balance between preserving the original elements and introducing contemporary functionality. The ground floor, with its double external views, now houses a welcoming reception area, lounge, and bar, where the seamless flow between spaces creates a natural and fluid atmosphere.

Respecting Tradition

Upstairs, the original spatial layout has been maintained, accommodating a meeting room, private offices, and co-working spaces. The restoration process meticulously preserved the villa’s original floors, frescoed walls and ceilings, and internal wooden doors, ensuring the historical-artistic charm remains intact.

Elegant Interiors

Delfina Design’s approach to the interior is one of delicacy and respect. The original structure takes center stage, complemented by carefully curated elements that blend seamlessly. Hexagonal and rhomboidal cement tiles in classic formats adorn the floors, while the lighting features wall elements and step light points to preserve the frescoed vaults.

Harmonious Details

Freestanding panels with customized clay coating and abstract decorative patterns integrate seamlessly with the existing frescoes, creating functional systems for arranging screens or shelves. The sliding doors on the ground floor and the hinged doors on the first level feature minimal geometric patterns inspired by the vaulted decorations, maintaining a cohesive aesthetic.

Focal Points of Refined Elegance

The reception counter, carved from a single 2.8-ton (2.54 metric tons) block of travertine, stands as the centerpiece of the space, complemented by the equally impressive bar island. The cafeteria counter, composed of two independent blocks, adds to the refined ambiance, enhanced by light-toned armchairs and walnut wood coffee tables.

A Harmonious Blend of Materials

Walnut wood, natural stone, and clay finishes become the unifying elements throughout the different environments, defining a contemporary and sophisticated interior. The facilities on both floors feature clear and geometric volumes, incorporating the local Grigio di Pisa stone and clay-clad paneling.

A Timeless Elegance Reborn

Photography by Andrea Martiradonna
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- by Matt Watts