After firm strokes of modernism laid by Mies Van Der Rohe, Santiago Calatrava and Rafael Moneo, A-Cero – a Design team lead by Joaquín Torres & Rafael Llamazares, lend their imagination to the curation of yet another significant piece of Architecture.
This single family residential dwelling, located in the southern state of Spain, looks at reviving the Colonial Modernist style of design complete with the indulgence of traditional thick walls covered in travertine marble and outwards extending courtyards from one’s living space.
Glancing at the SV House, the romantic in me urges to step in and explore each space – poignantly unfolding into a series of expanses each lapping up the immense green from the outside. Its architecture – pure poetry, complemented with simple honest planes of travertine framed with slim, graceful polished steel cruciforms painted in black.
Reflections of this humble abode, on the ripples in its shallow pool welcome its residents into a calming and secluded space. SV House impeccably showcases the relation between locality and homogenous globalisation of architecture, yet facilitating a greater scope of variation in spatial organisation and tectonics. Its design concept of creating a gradual transition between the interior and the exterior spaces, while including the outside within its interior hierarchy, is instrumentalised through a series of planned layers. Spaces between the alfresco structure and the sleek glass envelope organise the house concentrically into a protected core, surrounding interstitial interior spaces. An external envelope created with the relation between the ‘incrusted cantilevered facade’ and the ‘glazed openings’ contribute to a varied spatial strategy providing a rich dimensional experience.
Sitting graciously amidst a beautifully landscaped site spanning over 2200 sq. yards in Seville, this robust geometric piece of stone – clad architecture makes quite a statement. From the warm, off white and beige-hued street patterned network houses of down-south Spain, this residential villa acts as a fresh revival to the classic styles of Spanish conquistadores.
A-Cero explores the idea of developing free-flowing spaces using walls as isolated planes, often joined by sliding elements of Black glass. The majority of the buildings’ flourishing exteriors are constructed out of cream-coloured travertine, imparting the building its rich feel while aiding the perception of spaciousness.
The towering buttresses, extending outwards from the homogenous walls and roofs of the house, don’t just add drama but also render the site its play of light and shadows. The imposing outside structure, interrupted with contrasting slits and openings stands quite in contrast to the subtle, free-flowing spaces planned within. Grounded with subdued and understated hues of whites and beiges, and broken with the ingenious play of black frames, green landscape and blue water, the architect strings together a sagacious screenplay for a musical.
With a performance-oriented approach pursuing integrated spatial and material strategies to articulate the built environment and to respond and to modulate local climate, the SV House aims at facilitating a broad range of spaces for condition-related patterns of use and habitation. Each of the house’s four layers offers specific structural, material, functional, spatial and climatic qualities.
The geometry of the house was shaped, complementing the conditions of the site. It pushes out and pulls back to gain views, organising itself in a manner so as to intake full breathe of the exterior green landscape.
Stepping in, one is welcomed into a series of day lit, glazed and white textured volumes, analogous to the artist’s impression of peace and tranquility. The vast white interiors, rhythmically interrupted with blotches of bright reds, blues and browns adds volume, allowing passages of light to stream in. Subtle hints of views to the sky, the water body and the green are also suggested from this vantage point, but it’s not until you move deeper into the house that they are fully revealed.
The residence is hierarchically divided into three storeys – with the services and storage spaces camouflaged within the basement while the public and the more secluded private spaces split between the ground and the first floor.
Here, the purity of the cage is left undisturbed. Neither the massive columns from which it is suspended nor the independent floating roofs break the taut skin. The entrance leads to the double-height living room adjoining the kitchen that opens into the stone paved seating outside. By eliminating the idea of constructing walls and roofs of different finishes, accompanied by extended glazed dark panels, dissolve the space into the adjacent terraced canopy providing framed views through to the pool and beyond.
Angular white external stairs lead from the terrace or the upper floor to the middle level down to the garden and the pool below. The lower level also features the master bedroom, with soothing green views dedicated to the privacy of the occupants.
Polished Travertine stone flooring runs throughout the house, aiming at the continuity of the user’s perception of spaces from the exterior into the interior spaces, visually connecting the three levels.
Warmer materials provide a visual counterpoint to the stone in the main living space, with lightly stained oak veneer cabinets in the kitchen and the stained white oak flooring in the living room, the house interiors, most of which has been customised by A-Cero complement the conceptual tangential scape of the residence. Each corner of the dwelling offers views and opportunities for the occupant to experience and enjoy. The notion of tranquility comes across boldly, allowing one to rejoice in the sun-bathed triple – height atrium or the pebbled terrace above.
A-Cero further accentuates its geometric-piece of creation through angular shelves, cabinets and tables customised for use within. Towards the centre of the house lies an imposing circular atrium, allowing natural sunlight to fill up the interiors, while allowing for simpler and smoother connectivity through corridors encircling its perimeter. Further, the architect cleverly accentuates this circle with the addition of a wooden-platform on the terrace that doubles up as an informal sit-out surrounded with pebbled flooring. The entire residence follows a monochromatic theme, with pale-white interiors, oak textured furniture and beige marble flooring.
With the setting of the sun, the residence takes on a completely new character, one which is much cozier and warmer, bringing to life the minimalistic play of wood accompanied by the oak flooring. From the days’ bright white spectacle, the subtle warmth of the evening creates a picturesque view in the backdrop of Seville.
The creation of such dwellings does not just define new styles in architecture, but also promotes higher standards of living within the realms of the developing society. SV House represents the apotheosis of modernism, a building uncompromised by the complexity of its functions. A-Cero successfully delivers a project exemplifying Living Labs of Today, evolving to create Sentient homes for tomorrow.