House in Santa Pola

Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

House in Santa Pola sits on a small island in Spain, at once both distinct in its form and a blur of low profile against the hillside. Designed by Minimalissimo favourite, Fran Silvestre Aquitectos, the residence carefully balances its design with the features of the surrounding landscape.

The two-storey dwelling is located on the gorgeous island of Tabarca, in Valencia, Spain. Positioned in the picturesque blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, Tabarca is a fairly small island situated close to the mainland. A cluster of residences sit in the centre of the island—nearly all of which are comprised of local building materials in soft shades of tan, orange, and white. Nestled along this residential strip is the lovely House in Santa Pola.

The structure was carefully designed so as to maximise views of the sea while impacting the environment as little as possible. Thus, the long and low form of the structure emerged. House in Santa Pola manages to keep a low profile due to its positioning on the site. On the lower level, the floor plan juts towards the surrounding mountains, and makes thoughtful use of organic materials to blend in to the landscape. The second level rises to the maximum allotted height, allowing the building access to those premium seaside views.

The facade is composed of just three materials: white stucco, grey stone, and glass. Simplicity of materials is an element that Fran Silvestre is known for, and the three materials of this house are perfectly matched together. The white walls contrast beautifully with the almost-always blue skies of Valencia, and are particularly bright against the clay-coloured soil. The grey stone—a reference to the regional architecture of this area—balances well with both the stark white facade and the warm tones of the encompassing landscape. Glass is used plentifully across the design, in the form of expansive window-walls that open to terraces on each floor. True to form, Fran Silvestre uses the glass to connect the home to the environment, both letting in the exquisite scenery and melding the built world with the natural one.

The defining feature of House in Santa Pola is also its most abundant: clean, long lines. In light fixtures, window details, and the structure itself, clean lines stretch across the dwelling, drawing the eyes along the elegant composition. Walls of floor to ceiling windows frame the horizon; the bright blue of the ever-present sea feels close enough to touch. Long counters traverse across the kitchen, in a polished white, and the living room, in a shade of blue mimics the water outside. Pools—one indoor and one outdoor—feel more like decorative elements than building accessories. A palette of white and grey ties the interior to the exterior, resulting in a seamless flow throughout the design. Fran Silvestre’s House in Santa Pola expertly combines function and beauty, with an obvious emphasis on the beauty.

Fran Silvestre Arquitectos are known for their minimal and differentiated architecture style. The Valencia-based firm showcases excellence in architecture, interior, and product design. The firm’s diverse body of work is united with their recognisable aesthetic: beautiful structures that tend to feature natural elements, use few materials, and always have a keen attention to detail. With offices in Spain, Colombia, and Mexico, we don’t expect to see Fran Silvestre slowing down anytime soon.

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