The proposal of nomarq for the ISH 03 is a work of territorial architecture, in which the landscape is viewed as an object of desire. The project for the Inhabitat Study House 03 is not anchored in Mediterranean soil, but instead seems to form itself from its own topography: surroundings overlooking the sea, cut like levels of a model in horizontal strips, like a memory of its agricultural past. From this cultural territory, man’s gaze observes another landscape; untouchable, “immalleable”, which cannot belong to anyone because it belongs to itself: the sea.
The ISH 03 presents itself as a typographical element, defining new ground, new terrain, subject to the inevitable descent to the sea. The dwelling is set upon two overlapping principal levels, with a strong stereotomic character: the higher level, of exposed concrete is dedicated to night time use, whilst the lower, comprised of walls of local stone, hosts the rooms for ‘day use’.
Both entities are open to the landscape in a respectful relationship and are welded and fused through the feedback it gives them. There are big openings from which one can soak up the views, or walkways, which at the same time as maximising use of the sunlight and ventilation, signify a way of establishing contact with the landscape. The lower level is tangible and uses material from the land to define accessible areas, passages and sutures with the surrounding plots; the upper level observes the intangible, and yearns as if from the timid distance of an admirer, for the eternal blue. The greatness of the concrete cantilever structure reinforces the topographical image of the construction and expands the interior space. This produces intermediary, ‘in between’ areas: sunlit terraces and shady sheltered spaces.
The outdoor area is completed by another level which overreaches the water, with an overflowing pool which blurs the line of the horizon and ushers in greater desire for the sea. Within this work of nomarq, it is drastically difficult to discern what is the landscape and what is not, as the landscape itself is host to manmade changes, which this project picks up and uses in its own form. It’s difficult to know if the building is absorbing the landscape around it, or whether it’s the landscape that’s trying to absorb the building.
This game of tensions between architecture and territory is understood through the interior of the house, where one goes about discovering rooms like little contemplation corners. The connection between them is fluid and diffused via an airy space, yet also controlled through the interpretive opening to an outside presence, which illuminates and teases. The inside of the house is a primeval space, almost karstic, between the lifting up of the architecture and the intervention on the very same ground. The materiality, sobriety and minimalism make one think of a rocky hollow and exhibit a telluric attraction which lures further into the building. In seeking the nobility of materials, the elegance of their formation and working with tonality and texture, nomarq has found spaces of intimate comfort.