Detached house

A heterogeneous terrain comprised of hills, cliffs and little hidden bays, defines the land of Benissa, a land which extends from the mountains to the sea. Out of this, came the birth of this project which built a home with sea views, with emotional ties to its surroundings and an intimate character.

The plot is located in the Racó de Galeno urbanisation. The maximum respect for the terraced land was the starting point of this idea. The house emerges as a “floating” volume under which the land develops freely, but still takes over the landscape. This is thanks to a central void and openings that capture the views. This raised volume rests subtly on one of the field terraces which, together with several V-shaped pillars, are the only two anchor points to the ground. Thus, the project is interpreted as a concrete, patio-house box which soars over the landscape.

The inner courtyard that perforates the box is the articulating element. As the nexus between indoors and outdoors, it agglutinates the whole program around it, taking centre stage without intending to. It runs right around the entire project; enabling views through it; it is the starting point for the access to the house through a lightweight metal staircase, but does not lock the house in as it escapes below it.

The whole program involves the surrounding natural environment and landscape, closing in (barely hinting) on the adjacent boundaries and opening out towards the distant horizon. This way of organising the uses of the house is intimately marked by the configuration of it as a big, floating box, barely supported, leaving a free floor underneath and opening up a large courtyard inside.

From the patio, via the metallic staircase, one arrives at the hall preceding the entrance and from here the interior of the house is accessed. This floor hosts the whole house programme, without relinquishing spatial fluidity and unique cleanness, which were achieved through a serious of intervention strategies. The north-eastern side is taken up by the living room, adjoining the dining room, which opens up views from the exterior and interior façades, preceded by a lavatory next to the laundry room. The outside is accessed via this zone which results in the distribution of the night zone. This area is comprised of two bedrooms and a suite, all possessing intimate relationships with the outside spaces and all with their own bathrooms. The whole perimeter of the floor is “thickened” with a continuous storage element.

The night-time program is located in the area supported on the ground. The bedrooms with their respective bathrooms and private terraces open to the South, facing the most private outdoor space. The master suite, halfway between the suspended area and the supported section, which gives it direct access to the outside, finishes off the program, shielding itself from the views from the inner courtyard.

Understanding this support of the terrain, we can see how the remaining elements, such as the garage, accesses, service and facility rooms blend in with the plot on the ground floor, and are camouflaged behind the field terrace walls. The porch becomes a privileged relational space where one can enjoy the surroundings. On a lower level, the pool and its beach create singular elements.

The exploded volumetric view shows the strength of the project: a trapezoidal volume that soars over the landscape and subtly rests on the ground, opening up to an inner courtyard with the programme of the house arranged around it. This is the articulating element of the project.
The elevated position of the house aims to take advantage of the duplication of visual relationships both near and far and to respect the existing topography. Photo © Milena Villalba, 2018
The whole floor turns towards the patio and thrives on it. Photo © Milena Villalba, 2018
The first floor, which contains the domestic space, is made into a middle point in between the traditional patio house, the architectural pavilion and the open-plan modern house. Photo © Milena Villalba, 2018-2019
An open ground floor to be lived in, where the auxiliary spaces blend in with the surroundings and possessing a studied urbanisation that characterises the whole project. Photo © Milena Villalba, 2019
The outdoor spaces are converted into an extension of the house. Photo © Milena Villalba, 2019
The choice of the associated systems and materials, was a fundamental part of the project, which sought nobility and elegance in its creation. Photo © Milena Villalba, 2018
The floating volume loses prominence with respect to its immediate environment. The concrete and the natural dry-stone masonry walls grant, through their textures and tones, a perfect integration into the surroundings.
The robust exterior of concrete and stone contrasts with a warm interior of pleasant spaces with natural stone on the floor and white walls and ceilings where textures and lighting play an important role.