Conversation with Kristine Standnes of Sorrento Villa
From the window, Capri is so near, Naples is just in front of you, and Vesuvius is your neighbor. From the Sorrento Villa, a great 60s house built on the Punta Lagno cliff, the Mediterranean light shines even at night.
Under the stars, the curves and lines of the amazing scenery are continuously on stage and follow you like phantoms, room after room, step after step, terrace after terrace.
Yet you are not dreaming, you are just staying for a while in one of the finest properties on the bay of Naples. Let’s take a tour with Kristine Standnes, a 38-year-old architect, who is inspired by her family house.
KRISTINE, YOUR VILLA IS A FINE EXAMPLE OF 70S ARCHITECTURE. WHAT IS THE STORY OF THIS ATYPICAL HOUSE?
Kristine Standnes: “This house was built by the Italian architect Michele Capobianco in 1964 and inspired by Scandinavian architecture and way of life. At that time, in this area, such a high, white structure with curves and pillars was very new and unconventional. Not to mention the inside, with all these different colored ceramic tiled floors. It creates contrast and unity at the same time.
"Then, in the late 80s, my family built an extension that was slightly different but similar. They kept the same window angles but introduced stone floors and asked the Neapolitan artist Carlo Alfano to create a piece of art as a junction between the new and the old house. But the spirit remains the same with the white walls, the pieces of art in each room, and large windows overlooking nature.”
CONTEMPORARY ART IS EVERYWHERE HERE, IN EVERY ROOM. WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO YOU?
KS: “We love art and artists and we support them when we can. Our collection is a passion. For me, all these frames, all these sculptures, all these pieces of furniture and objects are kind of our welcome. We want to offer a different atmosphere on holiday, something not only different, but also unique. The art pieces in Sorrento Villa are the final touch of this cool architecture”.
WHY DO PEOPLE CHOSE TO RENT A HOUSE LIKE THIS ONE?
KS: “I think it’s great that the people who come here feel an emotion. This is not a luxurious house, it’s an emotional place with four bedrooms with a view (and what a view!), a pool, private access to the sea, surrounded by great nature and art… This is what makes the difference for me.”
YOU MENTIONED LUXURY. WHAT DOES LUXURY MEAN TO YOU?
KS: “Luxury today makes me laugh! There is no emotion in a glittery hotel! Real luxury today is something homemade for others, like a good meal with organic products from our properties. It’s a way of life in a unique place like this one.”
DOES THIS HOUSE INSPIRE YOU AS AN ARCHITECT AND AN ARTIST?
KS: “I don’t see myself as an artist but as someone creative. It makes a difference. Creative because my husband and I want to stay focused. This is why we changed a lot of things in our villa in terms of decoration. We buy a new frame, we sell another one… Everything is constantly evolving.
"Concerning my job, yes of course this villa inspires me because it’s so modern. Spaces and light are very important here and everything is built to serve nature. The architect has grasped the importance of nature and light, and I think about that when I work on projects in Naples, which is a very creative city”.
Book a stay at Sorrento Villa here.
Main photograph by Monica Spezia.