The House of the Infinite has been erected as if it were a jetty facing out to sea, designed by Alberto Campo Baeza, located alongside the Atlantic Ocean in Cádiz, Spain. Cádiz is a marvelous place, like a piece of earthly paradise, where the architects have built an infinite plane facing the infinite sea, the most radical house the architects have ever made. At the very edge of the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, where the sea unites the new and the old continent, emerges a stone platform. At the place where all the ships from the Mediterranean used to pass and still pass by as they head off into the Atlantic.
The 9,687 square foot (900 square meters) house is a podium crowned by an upper horizontal plane. On this resoundingly horizontal plane, bare and denuded, we face out to the distant horizon traced by the sea where the sun goes down. A horizontal plane on high built in stone, Roman travertine, as if it were sand, an infinite plane facing the infinite sea. Nothing more and nothing less.
To materialize this elevated horizontal plane, which is the main living room of the house, we built a large box with 20 meters of frontage and 36 meters deep. And under those first 12 meters we excavated two floors in the solid rock to develop the whole living space.
The Romans were there a handful of centuries ago. Bolonia, the ruins of the Roman fishing factories where they produced garum and built temples to their gods, is just a stone’s throw away. In their honor we have built our house, like an acropolis in stone, in roman travertine.
To give even greater force to the platform we incorporated all the terrain as far back as the entrance wall separating us from the street, also done in Roman travertine. Once inside the wall, the entrance to the house will be via a “trench” in the form of stairs dug into the upper surface of the platform.
A Greek poet said that this is a true temenos, a meeting-place, where according to mythology, humans and gods come together.
On the denuded stone platform, three walls surround us and protect us from the prevailing strong winds. Sometimes it is as if someone had opened the bag containing the winds of Aeolus. The same winds that drove on the vessel in which Ulysses made his journey home.
There is a lovely etching by Rembrandt from 1655, “Christ Presented before the People”, that has always fascinated me. In it, Rembrandt sketches a straight horizontal line. Perfectly straight and perfectly horizontal. It is the border of the powerful dais, the podium upon which the scene takes place. There, as Mies did so often, he has made the plane into a line. I am certain that Rembrandt and Mies would like our podium house, all podium, only podium. As would Adalberto Libera, who did the same thing when he built his Malaparte House in Capri. And we like it too. And when we look at our house from the beach, we will be reminded of all of them.
We wanted this house to be capable not only of making time stand still, but to remain in the minds and hearts of humankind.The house of the infinite.
Photos: Javier Callejas Sevilla
Model Concept 1
Model Concept 2
Villa Kalos is nestled on the beautiful Greek island of Ithaca, which once lay in ruin and was completely abandoned but has been returned to its former glory as a guest vacation house. The home was discovered by two South African photographers in the surrounding countryside of Lahos. The couple’s mission was to fulfill their dream of creating a home for the design conscious traveler looking to spend their holidays overlooking the peaceful Greek countryside, with the azure waters of the Agean only a few minutes away.With the help of local builders and craftsmen, the beautiful stone building was successfully resurrected and turned into a luxurious, sublimely understated, yet perfectly adorned, boutique villa.
A stylish and secluded villa escaping technology, Villa Kalos sleeps 8 guests, with rates starting at $471 per night, from here.
The property occupies 6,000 square meters, encompassing terraced gardens surrounding the home and almond trees and olive groves dotting the nearby countryside. There is a salt water pool that overlooks the stunning island vistas. The interiors showcase perfection for a Greek island villa – cement floors, stone walls, polished concrete benches, limed timber beams, fine muslin drapes on the windows and layers of linen.
Photos: Robert Koene
2251 Linda Flora Drive is a recently constructed compound that sits at the end of a very long, gated drive overlooking 350-acre untouched Hoag Canyon, in Bel Air, California. Reminiscent of Richard Meier’s Getty Museum, the 9,300 square foot, four bedroom, four bathroom home is encased in beautiful travertine stone. It features monumental scale and proportion, large disappearing glass doors and an organic and seamless indoor-outdoor flow.
This fabulous home has recently been listed for sale at $12,500,000, from here.
An impressive reflecting pool welcomes guests and enlivens the entrance. With 14-foot high ceilings and a 34-foot high central gallery with a roof-long skylight, this home is an art collector’s dream, suited to both private contemplation and large-scale entertaining.
The superb chef’s kitchen (which features a breakfast area overlooking the reflecting pool, a large center island, and integrated Miele/Wolf appliances) can be closed off for catered affairs or left open to the voluminous living and dining areas.
A dramatic home library peers down through a glass floor into the walk-in wine room, as well as looking out to the sylvan “amphitheater” (perfect for your next TED Talk). A sumptuous guest suite is also located downstairs.
Upstairs resides the master suite, with its light-filled, spa-like bathroom, a roomy dressing room/closet resembling a tony boutique, and an extensive outdoor deck with fireplace and broad views. Also upstairs is a large office (which has been plumbed in case one wanted another bedroom suite upstairs).
A guest house with permitted kitchen, sliding glass walls that leave you “floating” over the colossal view, and a three-car garage lay across the motor courtyard.
The 3.2 acre property is just as captivating as the architecture. In addition to the endless hiking trails, the property features a swimmer’s and diver’s pool with a sun-drenched pool deck; two separate lawns; and an entertaining loggia with its own fireplace.
Daylight is engaged as an architectural element throughout the house, pouring in at every angle of opportunity; the path of the California sun creating ever-changing experiences and moods like moving art. Night is just as dramatic with its symphony of stars, the flickering of flames, the shimmering of illuminated water and the thoughtfully-designed landscape lighting.
Once you have settled in to this architectural retreat, it is easy to forget that you’re only minutes away from the best of what Los Angeles and Beverly Hills has to offer.
Photos: Jim Bartsch
This private house in the foothills of northern Italy was designed by Caprioglio Associati Architects for a couple who wished to trade a tiny apartment for a renovated farmhouse in the country. The couple wanted to move out of the city of Asolo to move to the country where they could start a family. They moved a short drive from Asolo to an area called Monfumo, or “silent hills.” After two years of searching and three real estate agents later, they found a crumbling and abandoned farmhouse with an overgrown vineyard, tucked away amidst the rolling hills. They were not able to raise the existing structure due to strict government protections of existing buildings. It would have been faster and cheaper to tear down the existing structure, yet the homeowners liked its character so much, they wanted to keep thinking their home would be the old structure.
After preserving the exterior facade, the interior was given a modern update. Because this was once a farmer’s house to store crops, the rooms were tiny and there were a lot of them. The homeowners wanted a luminous space to capture the beauty of the surrounding environment. They wanted their living areas to be at the very top to make the most of the light. The most defining element of the first floor is a massive central staircase and catwalk system composed of glass and steel. Due to the high volume of the structure, the team decided that the home would be comprised of four floors connected via an elevator accessed from an underground garage and wine cellar.
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Photos: Courtesy of Caprioglio Associati Architects and
King Residence is a modern resort-like home designed with concrete, glass and stone by MC2 Architects, located on a busy stretch of Memorial Drive in Houston, Texas. The 5,680 square foot home generously unites the clients’ wishes for a resort-like space with the amenities and comforts of a single family dwelling. The plan of the house follows the curve of the street with a bow and arrow formation.
One volume houses the private sleeping quarters; the other contains the living, dining and entertaining areas. The living area is bounded by water with a lily pond to the north and a koi pond on the west where a glass bridge takes visitors into the outdoor living space with a summer kitchen and lap pool.
The master bedroom/bathroom suite is bounded by gardens on both sides.
Photos: Courtesy of MC2 Architects
TB House is a single story private residence designed by Aguirre Arquitetura, located on a spacious site within the gated community of Condominio Fechado Vila do Sol, in Uberlandia, Brazil. The layout of this one-story 9,472 square foot (880 square meters) plan has resulted in a functional design with a harmonious distribution of the living areas, with the emphasis on privacy.
The private quarters, which consist of three suites and an office, face east, meaning that they receive the morning sun and are protected from the afternoon sun. The living/reception spaces – which include a cinema room, living room, dining room and terrace – face south so that they avoid direct exposure to the sun and are thus cooler. The service area faces north and west.
In the front facade the garage’s suspended concrete slab (49 feet) provides shelter for five cars. The entrance portico is in concrete, which also covers the entrance hallway leading to the main body of the residence. The hallway is separated from the garden on one side by a glass wall, allowing light to enter the entrance hall and the corridor leading to the sleeping quarters.
A ribbed cumaru wood panel conceals the floor-to-ceiling front door. To take advantage of the natural slope of the land, a fruit tree grove was created at the lower level. This means that the bedroom volume facing the grove is suspended above it.
As the clients like water features, a pond was designed at the lower level featuring concrete walkways supported by central pillars that look as if they are floating.
The pool is 69 feet long and clad in travertine marble. As the marble is a light color the color of the water is not affected. The pool is 60 centimeters above the ground and features an infinity edge on all sides.
Taking advantage of the living room facing south, a generous ceiling height was given of 5 meters, with sliding glass doors along the whole window span opening up the room to the exterior. A winter garden was also added and the idea of the sliding doors was repeated here. The living room is thus opened up on two sides, providing cross ventilation and a greater sense of freedom. The living room volume was covered externally in stone, contrasting with the other white blocks.
The 55-foot wide terrace is a continuation of the living room, stretching the length of the room and allowing for total integration of the ambiances. It serves as a transition area to the garden and swimming pool. The client loves to cook, so the terrace also features a gourmet kitchen block with worktop, cooker, oven, barbecue grill, and fridge-freezer that is ideal for get-togethers with family and friends.
All detailing, both in the interior and exterior, was designed to give continuity to the architectural proposal, i.e. clean, uniform lines with the emphasis on lightness and extreme elegance in the definition of the materials. This is evidence both in the choice of the materials (travertine in all living/reception areas and the exterior and wood in the private quarters) and in their application.
The interior decoration work in general follows the architectural proposal, combining furniture pieces with extremely clean lines with the works of art and other cherished objects in the possession of the clients. The aim was to integrate these elements and achieve the desired aesthetic effect without affecting the clients’ comfort.
Photos: Courtesy of Aguirre Arquitetura
Casa 2V is a sensational modern property that has been completed in 2010 by Ecuadorian architecture studio Diez + Muller Arquitectos, located in Tumbaco, Ecuador. The house is located on a rectangular area with a slight slope in an east west direction. The land does not have much to offer but the house faces mountain views on the south side and the valley on the west side of Tumbaco. The house has been organized on three main ideas:
Program Independence: The house is broken into three main volumes containing three aspects of the program (social, private and views) respectively. These three are connected by two articulations or glazed bridges that are joined by more than three components, generating slides along the house.
Central Courtyard: The three volumes of the house are composed of a central courtyard surrounded by an internal gallery that serves the various program components.
Orientation and Views: The circulation inside the courtyard allow all environments to project their views to either the mountains or the valley of Tumbaco, these being the most permeable walls of the house.
The house is located on one floor, just having a studio and an elevated deck and gazebo on the social area. This generates a double height space and white glass volume, which rests on the ground floor of the house that is armed in stone.
Photos: Sebastián Crespo
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
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