Rekawa Art Villa is located on the Ocean front in tranquil surroundings of a coconut plantation. The pristine Tangalle beach is one of the most beautiful in Sri Lanka’s southern coast that remained untouched. Beachfront property prices are significantly lower than around Galle, Unawatuna and Mirissa, yet just 30km from Hambantota International Airport and some 200km from Colombo, it offers easy access and convenience to this piece of paradise.
The villas strike a chord with their rustic and simple structures that convey a Sri Lankan touch, complete with unique spaces that drift between the contemporary and old. It was designed and built by an Italian architect as his private residence and to showcase his art collections. Elements of different cultures had been utilised to draw inspiration for the design, predominantly striving to achieve a Sri Lankan semblance. Straying from complex architectural details, the focus was on creating simple yet distinctive spaces where the attention is drawn to antiquities and some contemporary art pieces.
Walls are in white while the floors are laid with white cement on the ground floors, both in the main building and the study, to convey a sense of light and space as well as to impart a cooling effect. The top floors are predominantly made of timber to relay a sense of warmth, and are built to provide private spaces where the residents can escape to.
The main villa is laid over two floors with some 455 sqm of usable area. The ground floor includes the living room, dining, kitchen, an exterior kitchen and a lavish veranda that runs the length of the front facade and extending to the side. The first floor accommodates a small study, library, store, master bedroom and a balcony. Several windows with glazing and no panels, in the living and dining rooms, that pivot along the middle to open, are placed to allow sun light in. All windows have fanlights that are of wood along with carvings to let fresh air in, even when all doors and windows are closed.
The adjacent study villa is laid over two floors with some 135 sqm of usable area. It’s entrance is laid with miris gal (granite stones) that have been combined together to form one long step. Living area leads to the work room and to the first floor. The doorway leading to the upper floor is separated from an Afghan door, similar to a curtain, and the first few steps of the staircase is made of cement while the rest are made of wood and spirals its way up. The wooden part of the staircase is built to remind one of a bridge over a moat, to a castle.
There is also a garden house of some 60 sqm with living area, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom; as well as a garage of 45 sqm.
As the land was once a part of a coconut estate, most of the trees have been left intact and as such the garden is built around the trees, integrating Sri Lankan relics such as the mortar and the pestle and the sekkuwa (a traditional oil extracting machine) along with a white cement contour that runs the length of the garden creating different patterns.