Roman Villa & Museum

This prestigious project is one of the most interesting and challenging in Stonewood’s history. The client had a vision of creating a full-size authentic replica of a Roman Villa, with an accompanying museum.
The site is home to extensive Roman remains a section of which have been exposed by archaeologists as the focal point of the museum. Left open for viewing with a glass balustrade, a glass bridge offers an alternative view.

The steel-framed museum has been designed in a contemporary style, with a fully glazed façade offering views of the Roman Villa. Premium finishes such as vaulted oak acoustic ceilings, full-height glazed sliding doors and polished floors give the museum a luxurious and minimalist feel. Collaboration with various experts was essential in the delivery of these elements. For example, the very large panes of structural glazing required extremely careful planning and coordination with the specialist supplier, for reasons ranging from feasibility and aesthetics to performance and logistics of installation.

In contrast to the ultra-modern museum, the Villa has utilised traditional methodology in every possible way. Architects, engineers, historians and builders have needed to form a robust team to prepare an authentic and feasible design for the building. Preparatory meetings involved the team visiting factories in Italy to view handmade products such as roof slates and custom hollow clay bricks. Along the way, Stonewood prepared numerous sample panels for the team to discuss and approve. Specialists from nearly every trade have needed to be engaged in team meetings, with features of the Villa including hand painted ceilings using authentic materials, thatched roofs, wattle and daub, rammed earth, a hypocaust heating system and traditional bathing pools.

Architect: Stonewood Design

Photography: Craig Auckland