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Casa Dinosauro – a love story

The visit to the iconic house located in the Gulf of Baratti

Walking through the Mediterranean scrub in the Gulf of Baratti, starting from Demos and heading towards Pozzino beach, you cannot help but notice two curious buildings. The first, immense, in concrete and with sinuous shapes. The second, in wood, with a hexagonal shape. Both buildings were designed in the 1960s by the same architect and were abandoned for many years. They were therefore curious buildings for me that the vegetation was recovering and I was never interested in their history. Until a few days ago, when I managed to book a guided tour of Casa Dinosauro, organized by the new owners, who in recent years have dedicated themselves to restoration and research to reconstruct not only the house but also the history of such a fascinating project.

‘The things that work best are the ones that no one ever thinks about’

Vittorio Giorgini

A ‘love story’ born and raised with the house, which is not limited to the descriptions of an ‘iconic house’ and which I invite you to listen to directly told by the owners. Friendship, passion and love for the territory laid the foundations for the birth of this project and even briefly decreed its abandonment.

A project born by chance and almost for fun, an architectural and friendly challenge between the Florentine architect Vittorio Giorgini and his friend and financier Salvatore Saldarini. The house was built using iron nets and concrete, left protected by jute bags so that it dries slowly and remains elastic. In fact, a characteristic of the house is its ability to adapt to stress and weight by flexing and adapting to it: it is therefore a unique construction of this kind, considered the first example of isoelastic architecture and rightly inserted within the circuit ‘Icon Houses’.

The curved and sinuous lines of the Dinosaur are found inside the house, where you can breathe a sense of peace and well-being. White is the great protagonist, the walls are enveloping and the linen curtains are supported by sticks collected on the beach. It is a unique building, with a stunning view of the sea (now partially covered by trees), which reveals all its soft charm inside. A feature that really struck me is also the use of stones, shells and glass shards to decorate some internal passages of the ‘dinosaur’. A living construction, which slowly reveals itself to the eyes of those who observe it. You can find a beautiful description of the house and the visit in this article.

‘After a certain period of time, this house passed into the Olympus of ‘curiosities’ and kitsch, misunderstood as informal, organic, sculptural or otherwise, damn the critics!

It was never seen for what it actually was: an effort absolutely foreign to these definitions, an attempt to understand a construction system, with all those limitations due to the lack of knowledge and experience on the subject. For me it was nothing more than the beginning of the work..’

Vittorio Giorgini

The passion that drives Luca – the owner – and his wife Lara, makes them regularly organize free visits to the property, like the one I was lucky enough to be able to do: for further information we recommend writing to info@casadinosaurobaratti.com or consult the site www.casadinosaurobaratti.comfull of curiosities and photos of the property and the Facebook page @casadinosaurobarattifrom which the new available dates are gradually announced.

The visit ended with an aperitif from Tenuta Poggiorosso accompanied by bread and oil and a collective toast held on a large circular concrete table, in front of the house and with an enchanting view of the Baratti sea.

Sharing the history and beauty of a place guarded with love reminds us how culture, friendship and the desire to innovate can lead men to create great projects that time can transform but not cancel. I am happy to know that Casa Dinosauro has now taken on a new life and I thank the owners again who share their time to tell such a beautiful story of ingenuity and innovation.

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