Anja’s house is not just a red cube between heaven and earth. Wrapped in the embrace of 25 centuries-old olive trees, Anja’s house is breathless and breathing. German by birth, Anja lived for a long time in the Netherlands and became acquainted with Puglia in 2000 for work, in fact she has been an established yoga teacher for years now. She, a citizen of the world by definition, always on the move and not only with her mind, has come to Puglia to study with a brotherly friend or perhaps because she is also recalled, as sometimes happens, by that ancestral and contradictory need to find herself or perhaps to finally get lost.
Anja’s house stands on a small hill in the agro monopolitano, a few km from the center, easily accessible. Once you arrive it seems to access a perfect space, where balance and harmony welcome you and everything, even the guest, integrates perfectly into it. Everything seems to invite you to silence, meditation, listening to you and what is outside of you. A small climb before being on the doorstep already refers to respect for the Earth, I have not seen in fact asphalt, the inhuman black asphalt even in the bollards that here are small teeth made in the earth.
Here nothing is unnecessarily added, but rather perfectly inserted and adapted to the context. “More is less”, but this Anja seems to have known for a long time. The rooms are clearly distributed on about 140 square meters of surface, the finishes so refined and elegant together jump to the expert eye of a technician and not, because beauty fortunately is democratic, it comes to everyone. The project, which is now 10 years old, is the result of a personal research and much study. Among the materials used Anja, breaking every scheme, has here opted for wood at the expense of the abused local stone, a choice this bold and courageous since until then it was a trend never seen or even thought of.
It all speaks of respect for the spirit of the context in which the house arose, it is faithful to what was the ultimate goal that Anja had already planned within herself. The authorship of the project is in fact hers alone, the whole symphony of that balance between materials, finishes, distribution of spaces and study on light was thought by her. Even coming across the mixed mastery of the rebellious flair of the workers was challenging. It is not a vezzo the color used to paint the “skin” of the house, a red brick that is usually used in Indian monasteries, a color that if in the chromatic scale, as in our eyes, warms, in the ascetic vision (?) represents instead Protection. That breath sensation that takes you as soon as you arrive, once inside it becomes real and fully envelops you.
No walls, just the indispensable, rather large sliding windows strictly without curtains so that you can look beyond, beyond the horizon, so that you can have the intoxication to grasp the infinity, welcome it within you. The faces are not exposed to the south and at the base of this choice there is a ratio of course “energy”, the space here is ideal environment to collect energy and light, not to disperse them but rather to protect and preserve them. In Anja’s house you never feel, as sometimes happens in life, with your back to the wall, you do not have the urgent need to protect yourself, to look behind you, to this there is Nature who thinks about it. On the veranda, both to practice the art of meditation tou court and sip a primitive, the energy circulates but does not invest you.
And the breath returns, checked.
Breathe, breathe slowly…