Camarines House is the modern vision of A-cero Architects, located on an exclusive residential neighborhood of Aravaca, on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain. The house has a total Built-up Area of 6,799 square feet (631.71 square meters), consisting of two parallel plans with vertical lines cross the construction like a double architectonic skin which becomes the leitmotiv of the property.
The rest of the building is developed around this central axis with many twin cubes creating a harmonic volume game. Next to this architectonic path appears the most public area with the kitchen and living-dining room. Meanwhile on the other side of the plan remain four complete en-suite bedrooms, one of them for guests.
All the villa is covered by white mortar monolayer that remarks the pure essence and the architectonic unity lines.
The ground floor is finished on white Macael marble, while the first floor is finished on wood. The white color covers all the house allowing reflexions of the light. A warm decoration between the tradition and modern make the perfect fusion between the container and content.
A sculptural staircase leads us to the first floor, where you can find the private spaces and the bedrooms of the owners. On one side a big bedroom and bathroom, on the other an office with library that connects with the living room through a double height.
Photos: Courtesy of A-cero – Joaquin Torres & Rafael Llamazares
Spanish architects Anna & Eugeni Bach have renovated an aging flat in Barcelona, Spain’s Ensanche district to show off its mosaic floors and decorative ceiling mouldings. This project changes the manner of inhabiting an apartment in this neighborhood through small and very specific operations that make the most of every corner as if dealing with a jigsaw puzzle and giving over the protagonist role to the existing elements, conserving, reusing or modifying them in order to create new spaces that seem to always have been like this.
The project consisted of the integral reforms of a dwelling in Barcelona´s Ensanche district that dates from the year 1910 and had never undergone any substantial modification in its 100 years of history. The state of the 1,399 square foot (130 square meters) flat, however, was deplorable, as its previous occupier suffered form compulsive hoarding syndrome and had accumulated all kinds of waste, leaving many of its elements in very poor condition. The ceilings (with magnificent rosettes and mouldings) and the floors (hydraulic paving made from small ceramic pieces) had been conserved relatively well, as was the case with some of the original joinery.
The starting point therefore consisted of conserving a layout that would permit the suite comprising the magnificent existing ceilings and floors to be maintained, concentrating any necessary changes required by the new program on the spaces that did not possess such characteristics.
In order to meet this objective the work was done room by room in an attempt in each case to adapt the new program to the rooms defined by ceilings and floors, recessing wardrobes or shifting partitions without modifying the limit of the rooms so that they would gain in functionality without losing their original limits. All the joinery has been conserved in either its original position or by shifting it to new rooms opened up in the flat´s “interior” volume, always respecting the original position of the floors and windows giving on the patio.
The generous height of this flat has been made use of to raise the floor of the en-suite bathroom by 60 cm, making room in a single space for the bath underneath the shower as well as a very useful storeroom-pantry underneath the floor, accessible from the corridor and next to the kitchen. This raising of the bathroom also means that in order to access it three steps have to be climbed from the bedroom, giving the flat a greater feeling of “domesticity” by introducing an element that is more typical of a detached family house than of a single-story flat.
Photos: Courtesy of Anna & Eugeni Bach
Villa CP is an old Catalan farmhouse that has been completely restored by Barcelonese studio ZEST Architecture, situated in Girona, Spain. A 21st century house has been created within the structure of the old stone property. The existing stone walls have been largely rebuilt, with enormous openings towards the landscape linking the house to its spectacular surroundings: a National Park of cork oak with distant views towards the Mediterranean.
ZEST Architecture’s work is always marked by sustainability, so it may not come as a surprise that this project sports materials and elements such as a natural pool whose water is filtered by plants and gravel, insulation with locally harvested and produced cork, clay and stray panel finishes in the interior and heating / cooling through a geothermal installation.
The old and the new (that which will age) strengthen each other in this project through their opposition and juxtaposition. The old has been left visible with all its scars, while new materials such as Corten steel, wood and clay, were chosen for the beauty of their natural imperfections and the way in which the traces left by time make them even more beautiful. Rain, wind, human touch…. will make sure that this house will be even more beautiful over time.
ZEST Architecture, founded by the Dutch architect Co Govers, will take part in the Biennale of Venice, which opens on 7 June 2014. The project Villa CP, the restoration of an old Catalan farmhouse, serves as inspiration for the installation that ZEST Architecture will present in Palazzo Mora, as participant in the exhibition “Time Space Existence”, organized by the Global Art Affairs Foundation.
Photos: Jesús Granada
This modern detached house was the vision of interior designer Marga Rotger in 2009, situated on Mallorca, an island in the Mediterranean Sea, in the Balearic Islands archipelago, in Spain. The designer worked with materials such as concrete for the roof and oak wood for the flooring. The set is characterized by the simplicity of the spaces with a minimalist setting. Earth tones in different textures give warmth to the whole space of 2,906 square feet (270 square meters).
From the designer: A modern house that has used noble materials such as concrete for the high ceiling in the sitting-dinning-room and oak wood floors that run throughout the home. The project is characterized for the simplicity of the open spaces with a minimalist but warm atmosphere.
The neutral earthy tones of the furniture, using different textures,add warmth and create a comfortable sensation. These tones are present in every room to create balance, without any strident or surplus ornamentation.
It has just the perfect amount of details to personalize the space and at the same time satisfy all the requirements of the client.
Photos: Gori Salvà
Window is a modern home design project that was completed in 2010 by Spanish architectural firm LADAA, located in Valencia, Spain. After analyzing the program requirements, the planning regulations and the topography of the plot, the following strategy was decided on: to establish a large “podium” on which to live. Furthermore this scale would allow the architects to accommodate part of the housing services and save the steep slope of the plot. This spectacular home is comprised of 8,019 square feet (745 square meters) of sprawling living space.
Coupled with this strategy, the decision to make the house in two unique stories allows us to rise and enjoy the views on the main floor without breaking the cornice height. In the same way and using the natural topography of the terrain we achieve that part of the piece which is embedded is totally exterior and can be considered as habitable space and used for guest bedroom and bedroom for the daughter of the family, adding a patio on the main facade as to achieve optimum ventilation and lighting of these rooms . In this way we release the ground floor, only destining it to day spaces and master bedroom, thus obtaining complete independence for guests and the daughter.
So the house is presented as a large orthogonal prism. Three of its vertical sides are almost opaque ( the entrance, and those facing the neighbors) and the fourth fully transparent, opening out to the spectacular views. The access to the house is by a slightly inclined path which leads us into the interior of the great piece, present but hidden from the street. We place a transparent glass box as a transition between the exterior and interior. Once inside the house, we are in a single space of 200 m2 . This large space is perceived as one, but can be segmented into different rooms.
Facing the large prism presents the podium on which are placed two large uncovered terraces and the main terrace. These areas are presented as a continuation of the interior space.Through a staircase we access the basement where we find the service spaces, the garage as well as the access to the habitable zone of this floor. In this area we have an audiovisual room and two bedrooms. To obtain a good lightning and ventilation of these rooms we plan two patios, one on the main facade and the second between the house and the pool, which together with the shape of the land allow us to create a basement which is completely exterior.
With this scheme, the house appears as a large box in which everything is made of glass and where the indoor-outdoor boundaries are not know, as well as a perfect prism on top with one of the sides totally open, almost deceiving us as it not only harbors edification but also serves to generate outer space, habitable and protected. It is important to mention that the garage entrance is considered as the main entrance or and accordingly the patio which appears in front of this entry is always bathed in the water from the pool and on a garden. So the housing is generated on the basement floor. The rest of the building is just an excuse for comfort.
We have sought a friendly home design to engage the existing terrain as much as possible to preserve the privacy of its inhabitants without this being an impediment to project an illuminated house open to the exterior. A very important aspect is the indoor-outdoor relationship. This relationship always occurs through a link, a combination that makes the privacy filter between inside and an outside uncontrolled. The house has been created based on a very simple idea: “Our house is the space above a carpet of black stone, our vantage point from which to look at the fabric of the world.”
Photos: Pere Peris
House in Las Rozas is a built set of integrating volumes and sheets that has been designed by A-cero Architects, situated in the township of Las Rozas in Madrid, Spain. According to A-cero aesthetics, modern projecting, blocks and plates define the design of this residential project with sculptural references. The house is located in Las Rozas, one of the wealthiest towns of Madrid. The dwelling’s plot has a surface of 1.368 square meters with a light slope that A-cero has used in order to adapt the building’s three floors: basement, ground floor and first floor. The building’s surface is 8,207 square feet (762.47 square meters).
The pedestrian access takes place by the ground floor where are located the most social rooms (living room, lounge and dining room) in the right side of the house. In the left side are the following rooms: a bathroom, cleaning room, a courtyard, kitchen – office, a larder and a cleaning room. In this level is also a porch that communicates with the dining room. An interior stair and an elevator communicate this level with the basement and the first floor.
The housing is provided with two swimming pools and two jacuzzi (for exterior and interior)
The first floor has 2,943 square feet (273.46 square meters) and includes the following rooms: two children bedrooms with dressing-rooms, bathrooms and a living room; a guests’ bedroom with bathroom; the main bedroom with two dressing-rooms and bathroom; a study that he communicates with a footbridge – library (to which also one gains access from the main bedroom) and two small courtyards. The basement includes facility quarters, storage room, quarter of implements for the garden and bicycles, interior swimming pool, gymnasium, sauna, massages room, cinema room and cellar.
Interiors stand out for their diaphanous distribution. It is a comfortable and habitable dwelling with ample areas. The beige marble with the wait walls and roofs produce a lot of clarity and luminosity in interiors. Furthermore, these colors create a spaciousness sensation in the house. Design, functionality and quality are the main concepts that have established this house´s design where elegance, modernity and simplicity stand out according to A-cero´s architecture.
Photos: Courtesy of A-cero Architects
Chameleon villa offers unique architecture and design in the exclusive area of Son Vida, Spain with breathtaking views to the sea, the city and the harbor of Palma. Spotted on Sotheby’s, the Chameleon house is comprised of 26,867 square feet (2,496 square meters) of living space with 10 bedrooms and nine bathrooms. The villa attracts through its exceptional light effects, which accomplish a true miracle of light; finest crystal on which surface has been installed with a special LED technology that can be programmed in its colors corresponding to your wish. The villa consists of three buildings. The main house is divided into three floors with living room, library, TV room, bedroom suites, kitchen and wine cellar. The second building offers the pool, wellness and fitness area. The third building is used as the guest house with 200 m2 of living space.
Special features of this exceptional villa includes, wine cellar/grotto, water view, various terraces/outdoor space, immaculate gardens, steam room, staff quarters, steam spa/hot tub, indoor and outdoor pool, gym, media room/home theater, prestige fitted kitchen, lift, living and dining room with fireplace, library, laundry room, stone floors, underfloor heating throughout, intelligence system, electric gates, installed music system and security system, as well as a guest apartment and garage.
This spectacular property is listed for sale from here.
Photos: Courtesy of Sotheby’s
La Vinya is a two-level home designed by Lagula Arquitectes which effortlessly melds the exterior environment into the home through expansive terraces on both the lower and upper levels, situated in Caldes De Malavella, Costa Brava, Spain. This 4,306 square foot, four bedroom, four-and-a-half bathroom home separates the entertaining areas with the private living areas. Each of the four bedrooms offers their own en-suite, while the downstairs area is ideal for social gatherings with a half-bath available and an open plan for living, dining and kitchen areas.
With its very high-quality range of finishes and fittings, rational use of materials and the integration and full appreciation of the resort’s privileged natural setting, the home is a successful example and benchmark for the style and quality of life that PGA Catalunya Resort offers. Listed for sale at $3,044,140, from here.
While the interior is spectacular, the villa´s outdoor terraces, outdoor kitchen and custom-designed infinity pool will captivate its future owners.
Leaving behind a world of urban routines, the client commissioned GarciaGerman Arquitectos to design Ex House, to achieve a feeling of retreat and isolation in the rural setting of the Somosierra mountain range of Spain. The client had abandoned their life of living in downtown Madrid and the term “Ex” refers to this process of leaving and the disadvantages of leaving this world behind. The home’s location takes full advantage of its close proximity to the city, with the property at just 1km. distance from the N-1 highway and one-hour drive from Madrid. A way of life in tune with nature but accessible from the city, appropriate for young dwellers.
The 1,453 square foot (135 square meters) house, camouflaged inside a dense forest, manages to face the views of the granite Somosierra and La Pinilla peaks to the south while looking at the same time to the reddish vast sediment plains that extend to the north, sitting in this geological transition and facing both directions. These views are formalized in two large identical 4,50m. openings situated in opposite sides of the central square-plan living area. This living area has a fireplace and is double-heighted to the north, regulating the inside temperature of the house.
Building systems incorporate high-tech devices in construction methods with a predominant concern for sustainability in the processes and materials employed, offering environmental standards that combine a contemporary level of comfort with the recovery of a secluded lifestyle with all of its charms.
The use of wood and its qualities, not only technical (insulation, easiness in handling, waste reduction) but also cultural and somatic (awareness of a sustainable living, warm textures, comfort connotations), determines the entire working process, providing the house with its characteristics natural and friendly finishes.
The working process was drastically reduced from the usual 13-14 months in buildings of this size (120-140m2) to 3 months, allowing for the house completion in about 8 months from the first drawings, lowering the costs by minimizing transport, reducing displacement of all parts involved and minimizing management phases. The quartering of high-strength cross-laminated wood panels is modulated to fit one single truck which is driven from the Austrian factory. The panel are then assembled on-site by skilled labour (3 people) in a 5 day process.
The house is built without earthworks and placed gently in the shade of a group of existing trees, rehearsing an essential lifestyle which mixes contemporary devices with the recovery of basic activities: fireplace, vegetable garden, septic tank and heat generation system through fire-heated water are combined with 18 cm. mineral-wool thermal insulation, triple gas filled anodized aluminium glazing 6 / 6 +12 +4 mm. and green roofs with a multilayer cover. All these devices add up to a drastic reduction in maintenance costs.
Facades are done with 16cm. wide toothed wooden planks manufactured from cheap local Valsaín (Segovia) pine, recovering a XVI Century local tradition from the Austria-dynasty-era and in disuse nowadays. This closes a circle which starts with the high-tech-prefab “pan-European” structure of the house and ends with the reactivation of a beloved local craft in the house’s enclosures.
Photos: Jorge López Conde
This renovated farm compound in the Val d’Aran, a valley in the Pyrenees Mountains of Catalonia, northern Spain, consists of three traditional Pyrenean farm buildings that were reconfigured in 2000 to create a compound, with a total of six bedrooms. Where possible, the original stone and wood were retained or refinished in the renovation. Exteriors are native stone, the roofs slate. The interior walls are lime plaster, and the wooden beams and trimwork are cherry, oak and fir. An oil furnace powers a radiant-heat system throughout the compound.
The barn and the house on the 1.8-acre property have been joined by a passageway, creating a total of about 5,100 square feet of interior space. The first floor of the main house is configured as a great room, housing a double-height living area with a fireplace and mountain views, a dining area, and an eat-in kitchen. The kitchen counters are stainless steel, and top-of-the-line appliances include a Lacanche gas range.
The main living area, with a mezzanine to the left that leads to bedrooms on the second floor.
A Lacanche gas range, center, is a highlight of the eat-in kitchen, which has stainless steel countertops.
The second floor of the main house has two bedrooms and one bath; the third floor has the master bedroom, with a bay window affording valley views, and a children’s playroom that could be converted to a bedroom. The now-attached barn has a full-floor recreation room and a sleeping area with exposed beams on the second floor, and guest quarters with two bedrooms and two bath on the first.
A recreation room on the top floor of the former barn, which has been connected to the main house.
A sleeping area in the barn.
Across a cobblestone courtyard, a former stable now accommodates a professional-grade recording studio and garage space for three cars. The upper level has an exercise room, a sauna and a bath.
A view of the recording studio in the annex; it currently has professional-quality equipment, and walls and part of the ceiling are lined with acoustic panels.
The house and barn are joined by a parlor, seen at right.
Photos: NY Times