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. 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 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. 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 outdoor space has been designed as an extension of the indoor space. The lines that define the building are drawn beyond the walls, marking the patterns of the vegetation, the pavement, the pool and the outdoor lighting. The garden displays several zones with very different features. Each outdoor zone is singular but belongs to the same concept of a homogeneous indigenous Mediterranean garden. Source by Ramon Esteve.
Location: Jávea, Alicante, Spain
Architect: Ramon Esteve
Collaborating Architects: Anna Bosca, Estefanía Pérez, Víctor Ruiz, María Martí
Collaborators: Tudi Soriano, Natalia Fonseca
Technical Architect: Emilio Pérez
Constructor: Construcciones Francés
Project Manager: Gonzalo Llin
Area: 1285 m2
Built Surface: 1285 m2
Production and audiovisual: Alfonso Calza
Photographer: Mariela Apollonio, Courtesy of Ramon Esteve
Article by Marco Rinaldi