Casa V is a redevelopment project by architecture team Dosis de Arquitectura of an existing house that was constructed in the early 1960s. A stunning volume of curved walls and stark white embody this holiday home for the owners for half a century. As the years went by, the growth of the family could not be contained in the original house hence the work to adapt and expand on the multi-generation, multi-purpose building. Casa V was already located on a breathtaking site in La Coruña, Spain. The structure is reminiscent of Corbusier’s nom de plume: A house is a machine for living in. Form follows function - it exists to serve its purpose of facilitating activities within and to experience the views of the landscape. The present architects have continued the legacy as they so eloquently describe it: Spaces are defined by the unfolding of matter in space-time, which topologically adapts itself to what happens inside. The new house is formalized by the continuous flow of a completely neutral wrap – no edges, no color, no texture – and, within this wrapping, life, action, is the protagonist. Dosis de Arquitectura have aligned the design language – the characteristics of the wrap and typography of the architecture - with...
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The White Retreat is a seaside apartment with a nearly all white interior. Located in the beach town of Sitges, Spain, the client wanted a bright white space which would highlight a few favorite art and furniture pieces. The combination of a small space and small budget called for a simple and efficient design. Colombo and Serboli Architecture divided the space into three areas: the bathroom, bed/living room, and terrace. White doors hide the kitchen, bathroom, and closets. Oversized windows flood the space with natural light. There are so many elegant design choices in this small apartment. The white resin floor, bathroom tiles, and folding doors all help achieve a uniformity that is still visually exciting. The dedication to white here is impressive: even the plumbing fixtures are matte white! The White Retreat is the perfect space for quiet and creative living.
Located on a lovely strip of beach in Spain is the DBJC House. The home was built to maximize its relationship with the sand and sea. The structure sits low on the site, almost becoming a natural part of the rocky coast. The walls are nearly all open to the landscape: some physically, others shielded from the elements by frameless sheets of glass. The main living area is located closest to the sea, while the bedrooms sit further back on the ground and upper floors. The rooftop is home to a simple terrace, allowing for an unimpeded view of picturesque scenery. DBJC is another gorgeous work by Alberto Campo Baeza, a Spanish architect widely recognized for his prudent designs. I am a huge fan of Alberto Campo Baeza. His designs possess an air of timelessness achieved through excellent choices in form and material.
Two adjoining houses had been renovated to create this one House in Valencia, Spain by Fran Silvestre Architects. Designed to separate daytime and nighttime activities, public and sleeping areas are located at opposite ends of the site, leaving the services and circulation concealed within the core. The minimal architecture defines and connects the interiors like a sanctuary that draws light into its very linear spaces. The choice of lighting fixtures in this house compliments the strong amount of daylight designed to be let it through the big panels of glass on the exterior. The designers at Fran Silvestre Architects do what they do best in this project which I found by chance while browsing through their stunning portfolio: making minimalism desirable. Photography by Diego Opazo.
This proposed project from Spanish architectural bureau Pereda Pérez Arquitectos answers two major design concerns. Firstly, due to building restrictions in Villarcayo, Spain, the house can only have ground floor. Secondly, the owners, a young expanding family, wanted to have a master suite, another two bedrooms and a bathroom, kitchen, garage, and a place for the children to study and play. All in a relatively small one-story building. The solution architects suggested is beautiful as it is convenient. All private rooms of the house are pushed to the blind concrete sides, freeing the open area in the middle for the living space. This airy central room also boasts access to the garden and great light. The concrete floor and ceiling repeat the textures we see on the outer walls of the building, bringing unity and coherence to the structure.
Twentieth Century Casa Orfila by Schneider Colao epitomizes the minimalist style. Through a combination of white on white, separated only by intricate shadow lines and seamless junctions, the perfect execution of less is achieved. The expression of discreet is overt. I like this. Completed in 2011 in Madrid, Spain, this 200sqm house is both considered and considerate. I am particularly partial to the use of stone, and the slightness of the veins that run through it, humanizing it. The introduction of the timber to the expressed ceiling adds another element of warmth to this otherwise quite austere interior. A home, after all, is supposed to entice such feelings of enrapture. Since combining forces in 2007, the architects, Ursula Schneider and Jesus Colao (Schneider Colao) seem to fuse together (quite beautifully) elements of their own nationalistic minimalism to create the modesty that is Casa Orfila. To me, this combination of warmth on cool is quite fitting.
The exterior of the Asco Visitor Center, located in Tarragona, Spain, caught my eye but it was learning that it is a public facility for the nuclear plant next to it that caught my attention. Containing an exhibition hall, conference and meeting rooms, the designers, Josep Camps and Olga Felip of Arquitecturia approached the design strategically by addressing the site of the nuclear plant as well as the geography at the same time: At a urban scale, there was the opportunity of solving the end of the industrial area – a built system of mute containers. At a territorial scale, we understood the strategic location of the site, between the landscape and the urban core. I like the idea that such a visitor center exists to educate and improve the public image towards nuclear energy and that its minimalist architecture of black vertical steel plates on the exterior and its geometry on the site implies that the context of the building is very much contemporary and relevant. Images and text courtesy of Arquitecturia.
The beautiful Casa del Acantilado is located on a cliff in Alicante, Spain. Designed by Spanish studio Fran Silvestre Arquitecto, the centerpiece of this residence is an long cantilever that stretches towards the Balearic Sea. One side of the white-washed home is nestled along the cliff, while the other reaches away from the rocky setting. The structure is made from concrete, yet the concrete has been coated in stucco for a sleek, clean look. The living rooms and bedrooms are on the upper story, while the kitchen, pool, and terrace are located on the ground floor. This stunning home celebrates its ideal location, yet it does not seek to merge into it. The monolithic structure manages to appear separate from the site, so that it can be appreciated like a sculpture in a gallery. Yet the sharp edges and bright white color of the home contrast with the surroundings; allowing the rocky landscape to become part of Fran Silvestre Arquitecto’s gorgeous sculpture. I am obsessed with architecture which seeks to blur the boundaries between functional building and artistic object. The Casa del Acantildo is a perfect example of architecture as art.
Casa Selva is located in the wild greens of Selva, Spain. Designed by Luis Velasco Roldan, this home was deeply inspired by its prime location. The home is centered around a courtyard and greenhouse. The greenhouse is very unique: it has a retractable roof, which allows it to be easily transformed into a summer veranda. Moveable wooden panels control the sunlight in the living areas. When the wooden panels open, the interior of the home seems to merge with the surrounding landscape. The thoughtful design of this house is what makes it so successful. Every element has been carefully calculated, not only to create maximum aesthetic appeal, but also to limit the house’s impact on the environment. The house is full of character, while remaining simple and classic. I especially love how the large windows and skylights flood the house with soft, yellow sunlight. It looks like the perfect place to laze around on a summer afternoon.
This beautiful home is designed by Roberto Ercilla Arquitectura. Located in Barrundia, Spain, Dwelling in Etura is inspired by the slope of the surrounding landscape. The house begins at the start of the slope, cutting down into the hill on one side and extending out on the other side. The entrance sits below the land, while the roof holds a garden. The home is oriented south to appeal to the views and climate of this region. The entire structure is designed with reinforced concrete. I love this home! The materials and decoration are very simple, but the forms are incredibly dramatic. The cantilever in the back is especially thrilling. It is exciting to see such a strong gesture in a family home. The entrance to the rooftop garden is another beautiful form. Dwelling in Etura is a strong and stunning piece of architecture. This would certainly be a wonderful place to live.
This children’s book by Antonio Ladrillo is absolutely adorable. Ladrillo is an illustrator from Spain. The book “Oh! A Zig-Zag!” is in Spanish and is intended to teach children about shapes and color in a simple way. The shapes twist and turn around each other on each page, and the captains are short and playful. The book reads: Oh! A zig-zag! A square has four sides And a triangle has three We are lines And we like to follow one another We are curves! One, two, three, four and five Five circles! Balancing! We love corners We are always parallel We are tangled up Wave! I love how Ladrillo has turned such simple shapes into lovable characters. Perfect!
Barcelona based architect Carlos Ferrater has built this stunner of a house for his brother, José Manuel Ferrater, in Alcanar, Spain. The building is placed in the area filled with gardens, orchards, and rice fields. The lot itself is a formal garden, the nod to which is seen in the landscaping techniques. Due to frequent floods in the area, the structure rests on a platform 20 inches above the ground. The low concrete walls, surrounding the house, serve as an additional protection from occasional floodwaters, allowing the full view of the beautiful mediterranean landscape. The composition of the house is made up of three pavilions: living-dining-kitchen area, master bedroom and an artists’s studio with an alcove bedroom for guests. The position and shape of the pavilions direct the views between them, creating a sculptural effect. The large openings offer alternative glimpses through the complex and inside the living structures. Interestingly enough, all interior pieces in the house were collected by the owners during travels - sofas from Indonesia, fabrics from Thailand, and miniature benches and chairs from Africa. No designer furniture… Ferrater worked on this project in collaboration with Carlos Escura. Photography by Alejo Bagué.