Evaporated particles of water float in the warm sun, carried away by the Mediterranean breeze. Countless microscopic molecules cling onto surfaces of dwellings, creating a blanket of thin dampness to then be evaporated again into thin air.
As a response to the humid climate, Fran Silvestre Arquitectos’ Penthouse in Costa Blanca is covered with a continuous surface of marble on multiple planes. The minimal residential project is situated in Costa Blanca, Spain, overlooking the distant turquoise ocean and an aquamarine horizon. Its open plan, complemented by the reflective flooring surface, gives a cooling effect throughout the space, bringing in lost winds and keeping the invisible water grains.
The house is programmatically seen as two parts: Day and Night, divided by elevational difference and programmatic functions. Upon entering, the project’s Day welcomes one with a flood of natural light and a marvelous vision of uniformed cleanliness. Hovering above the main space is a cubic volume of patterned white marble—a clever method of covering the staircase—seeming monolithically heavy yet as equally light as an evaporated water droplet. This monumental visual effect, and not physical properties, frames a division between the living room and kitchen, where the degree of privacy is uncertain. As one walks past this partition, an islet of cooking facilities appear in the form of a stainless steel tabletop, reflection a warm wooden cabinet standing modestly opposite. A few dark surfaces scattered across in home furnishes create a subtle visual connection to the project’s Night.
Perhaps to poetically relate to the concept of Day and Night, the floor above embraces slabs of black marbles, contrasting with the pale colour palette of Day. However, the dark volume created by these surfaces mirrors the floating mass below, with a gap on top to ease up the feeling of heaviness. Behind it is a sink for two, standing next to a shower that opens up to the vast nature outside; glimpse of blue sky above Bay of Altea is seen through a thin slice of negative space. Facing the window is a closet with minimal decors, lit up by a box of white light above. Differently, the outer bedrooms are implemented with strips of white lights slivering through the space like threads of connection from one zone to another.
Penthouse in Costa Blanca is a siamese conjugation on a vertical axis. Although different in programmes, the two spaces on the lower and upper floors share a commonality in form; aesthetic becomes an important factor in tying separate areas together while still creating a complexity in tactile experience, where the body is engulfed in floating air and the eyes are met with unexpected excitement.