Villa

In the past, villas were in most cases country houses built in the classic Italian or Roman style. Often they were only intended for seasonal residence. Brick and stone were used to build the walls, and marble, water paintings, columns and rotundas were used more for the interior.

Nowadays, villas are considered to be detached dwellings or several buildings or structures built on the same property. This type of property, as a rule, is Mediterranean in style, and has an ennobled and landscaped plot of land. An exception: Scandinavian villas, which are often minimalist constructions, built with sustainable materials and containing mostly stylised elements, which bring them in line with the villas of the past.

Key features of country houses

Modern villas are often one or two storey buildings. Buildings with three or more stories are less common, as they are mostly built on plots with a substantial slope. Among the elements characteristic of modern villas are:

  • double-shaft roof covered with tile or its cheap imitation;
  • an inner courtyard;
  • columns and canopies of climbing plants;
  • built-in winter gardens (in most cases with a glazed roof);
  • swimming pools and terraces.

Most of the building material manufacturers and construction companies in Europe specialise in the construction of standard villas. The properties are primarily built in popular holiday and tourism destinations with rich natural resources. This is due to the fact that the villa is used today, as in former times, mostly as a holiday home.

It is only secondarily that developers pay attention to the proximity to transport infrastructure. The periodicity of residence often requires the owners to fit out their homes with innovative automated systems and security features.

Technical parameters of the villas

This type of property is characterized by a high level of autonomy through the use of alternative energy sources, as well as various automation and engineering systems. According to the German magazine Bauen, the average size of villas is slowly but surely decreasing. In Germany their parameters vary from 150 to 200 square metres.

These days, most villas are built within the city limits using modern and affordable building materials. They range in size from 180 to 200 square metres. In most cases, villas are one-and-a-half storey buildings with an adjacent plot of land and a usable attic. These properties are usually located in the suburbs of large cities and are intended not only for temporary but also for permanent residence.

Types of country houses

Currently, there are 6 types of villas, which differ significantly from each other:

  • classical Mediterranean;
  • Spanish-Moorish (often found in the southern United States);
  • Middle European;
  • New English;
  • Scandinavian;
  • modern.

There are also private supervillas, which continue to be built today. Their construction particularly peaked in the 1950s and 1960s. Such properties are often designed for collective use. Historic supervillas, on the other hand, are in most cases transformed into hotels, clubs, museums or other leisure facilities.

Many villas, including architectural monuments, are privately owned by legal entities. Owners may use them for different purposes: renting them out, using them as a hotel or a holiday accommodation centre.

In real estate practice, a villa is defined as a detached single-family home outside the city with a small plot of land and outbuildings. However, such a definition of the term «villa» is not entirely correct as it is an incorrect comparison of this type of property with other types of detached private houses, including cottages and mansions.

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