Located in a setting of great beauty and valuable landscape, in front of the Mediterranean Sea, between El Portixol and Cala Blanca, the Sardinera House lays on the top of a hillside, lined by a headland entering the sea on a bay of turquoise waters.
“The original idea for the design was based on enjoying and enhancing the panoramic views of the setting, by creating a relaxing contemplative environment that allows enjoying the experience provided by the place.”
A set of concrete walls exhibited facing different directions, compressing and expanding the views and generating several images. The vertical surfaces are limited horizontally by long cantilevers that extend towards the sea, thus creating verandas that enclose the large terrace. Because of their constructive system, these cantilever
don’t lean on the walls, but fit in between them, thus increasing the visual tension and generating paradoxical sensations of massiveness and weightlessness.
“The views outwards are framed between the architectural surfaces and the pool surface, outlined on the horizon.”
The longitudinal façades of the house are opposite. The entrance façade, hermetical and opaque, is protected by an automatic system of adjustable shutters made of whitened Accoya wood. It protects the façade from the sun exposition and, at the
same time, limits the viewing from the street. On the contrary, the East façade is much more permeable and transparent. The concrete vertical surfaces are sealed with large glass panes, protected by cantilevers and twisting curtains that bring an ethereal Mediterranean atmosphere.
“The house has a strong tectonic character because of its expressive materials. The texture of the white concrete poured into the white timber have achieved such a resemblance that they sometimes seem the same, as it becomes apparent in the lateral windows.”
The texture produced by the print of the timber formwork is noticeable on the concrete surface, thus establishing a common language with the white-shaded timber used in blinds, ceilings, party walls and furniture. A white hue covers all the element, which are different just because of its material, generating subtle changes of texture. The local stone masonry walls build a base for the white concrete volumes to stand on and also link the building to the landscape.
“The house reflects the construction process. All structural parts are made of exposed concrete, while the enclosure is made of timber and glass.”
There is an access through a double-height volume with side walls aiming the view at the sea and offering the visitor a first contact with the horizon. The day rooms are on the ground floor, as part of a fluid set articulated by the white concrete walls.
Some vegetation is introduced in the in-between spaces, bringing the garden into the house. Each room opens towards the horizon through its own veranda.
The living room takes on a role and a unique dimension, a corner of glass of six meters in height frame the best views of the sea. Throughout the whole house are generated multiple spaces from which to contemplate it, so much as from each one
of their inner rooms all the way to the exterior spaces.
“The living room has a main role and a singular feature, a glass corner framing the best views of the sea”
Each volume on the first floor hosts a bedroom. Instead of allowing frontal views framed by the walls, the glass corners offer much more interesting panoramic views.
Each room has a small glass balcony, similar to a bay window, set back of the boundary of the cantilever, to enhance the visual importance of the horizontal surfaces.
“The staircase has been developed as a sculptural element. The sea is visible through its translucent glass steps. This transparency also allows the natural light to reach the basement. At night, the steps light up as a lamp. The banister is a sloping surface that follows the same idea than the architectural walls.
On the basement floor, besides service and parking areas, there are some guest bedrooms, a gym and an indoor pool, with a sauna and a dressing room.
“The indoor and outdoor pools are on different floors but linked by a longitudinal window. Through it, the water of the outdoor pool casts shadows over the indoor pool.”
The large hanging benches in the bathrooms are made of natural stone. The pool vases are also made of polished concrete in different tones. There is a lounge area by both swimming pools, defined by its flat cobblestone pavement.
All the lights in the house are adjustable LED integrated in the architecture. Outdoors, the lines of lighting draw the same direction than the walls of the house.
The housing has been designed by sustainable criteria and has obtained the energy certification A.
Situated on one of the decks is a system of vacuum tubes that, using accumulators, heat the interior hot water and of the swimming pools. This solution is complemented with a heat pump that is powered by a system of wells of geothermal energy.
The housing is oriented to the east-west to ensure sustainable use of natural currents of air and sunlight. The eastern facade is protected by a few large cantilever beams, while the west facade has an enclosure formed by adjustable and steerable motor driven planks that in summer use as protection from sunlight while allowing the passage of the breezes and in winter it is opens by capturing the sun.
The house is oriented east-west to ensure the exploitation of the natural currents of air and sunlight. The east façade is protected by overhangs, while the west façade has an enclosure formed by a blade motorized steerable and adjustable, which protect in the summer of sunlight allowing for the passage of the breezes, in winter it is open by capturing the sun.
In the large glass surfaces has been provided a double coating with thermal and acoustic insulation with solar control. In addition, the housing presents a wraparound of ten centimeters of extruded polystyrene, high density, which ensures a high thermal insulation.
Under the outdoor swimming pool has been prepared an underground tank of 100,000 liters, where the rainwater is channeled subsequently for the use of irrigation. The groundcover vegetation of the garden is watered by exudation.
The species used in the landscaping are native to providing a high level of integration in the environment and rational behavior of the species, with a consistent and controlled consumption of water resources.
The entire House is administered through a system of home automation management, from the air conditioning, lighting, irrigation, in such a way that the energy consumption of the housing is managed optimally.
Photographer: Mariela Apollonio, Ramón Esteve