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.
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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.
This swimming center by Eddea Arquitectos is located on the outskirts of Barbate in Spain. The design of the center seeks to provide an impressive health experience through a relationship with the natural landscape. The sports pavilion is housed around an interior courtyard and hall, which incorporates filtered sunlight into the center. Situated around this space are changing rooms, a fitness center, and the swimming pools. The swimming pools bask in a warm light from radiant ceiling fixtures. The entrances, private spaces, and relationship to the outside set this center apart from the majority of sports pavilions. Eddea challenged the traditional characteristics of these centers with a design that advances the space from mere utility to a unique aesthetic experience. One enters the center through the neighborhood to emerge in an area of soft sand dunes. One then moves through the interior void and finally into the private and swimming areas. The relationship between nature and swimming pool brings part of the surrounding environment into the interior spaces. The building is non-obtrusive overall, allowing it to blend seamlessly into its setting and give the user a tranquil health experience. This swimming center brings a new style of sophistication and quality to...
Located in the island of Formentera in Spain and designed by architect Marià Castelló, Casa Amalia is a reformation project of an existing building originally constructed at the early 70s. The refurbishment was carried out between 2008 and 2010 and the main architectural concept was that of creating a contemporary version of the local architecture while introducing fluid and open spaces in the interiors. No building interventions were made except that of a perimeter foundation that redefines the way the building contacts with the ground. This platform not only protects the house from the water runoff but also separates the house from the natural terrain giving shape to the terraces-viewpoint. The limited use of materials and colours and the simple, geometrical volumes help achieve an attractive and sophisticated mix of the various phases of the building and create serene and elegant interiors. I don’t need more! Photography: Estudi EPDSE
This beautiful piece of modern architecture was recently finished by Vicens + Ramos architect bureau. The church graces a new and largely undeveloped residential area in Cordoba, Spain. The building’s innovative structure is comprised of a single prism and a tall short facade. The facade is combined with the bell-tower and skylight – the components that are usually separated in historical church architecture. The prism, made from white concrete, has a fluted base able to let in horizontal light. The interior of the church is minimal and unembelished. It is designed to accentuate the focal points of the composition, namely the altar area and the roof paintings. The light, coming from the skylight and skillfully directed by the curved shape of the ceiling, completes and unifies the space. Photography courtesy of Vicens + Ramos
Solo House Casa Pezo in Matarranya region in the south of Catalonia, Spain, is proposed by the award-winning Pezo Von Ellrichshausen Architects from Chile. Part of the Solo Houses concept consisting of eight to ten vacation homes designed by international young talents such as Mos Office, Studio Mumbai or Sou Fujimoto, Casa Pezo is a nod to modern approach to vacation homes. Like a geometrical sculpture raised above the ground, the 313 sqm Casa Pezo uses minimal shapes to achieve symmetry and strong but free direction of movement. Otherwise heavy concrete structure’s effect is lightened with generous openings wrapped around the entire home, some of which are filled with glass panels in opposing directions. I love that the only “enclosed” room has no roof but it does host a pool. The combination of the void of the roof, volume of water and wall openings on each side play on ones perception of interiors and exteriors. Casa Pezo’s simple geometry and effortless blend with Catalonian countryside is an exciting affirmation of strong idea with minimal distractions. Successful combination indeed.