House in Santa Pola
The house, located in front of the island of Tabarca, makes sense of understanding the place in which it is set. Designed by Fran Silvestre Arquitectos, the house is located in San Pola, a bustling town located on the Costa Blanca, about a 20-minute drive south of Alicante airport.
Once a small – but prosperous – fishing port, Santa Pola is now a popular tourist destination with wide, sandy beaches that are perfect for windsurfers and other water sports enthusiast. It boasts a finishing port and the Fishing and Sea Museum offers a rich selection of maritime objects and is located in the former castle in the centre of town.
Located on the mainland, the house is directly opposite this small picturesque island. The formal appurtenance of the architecture is strongly conditioned by the gradient of the land; so much so that the house is formed on three levels. The bedrooms with balcony are located on the top floor and the shared area is in the middle of the house, where a patio and infinity pool cantilever out towards the sea. With a strong difference in height between the levels of the upper and lower access, the project wanted to define a level at which the day and pool areas are located. This level was placed at the highest altitude possible, in order to have a direct view of the sea.
The main space of the house comes up as the gap between the basement area emerges from the land and the day area is deposited on top of this base. The volume that emerges seeks to blend in with the texture of the surrounding mountains on account of the grey tone of the natural stone which it is built. The volume that is deposited is materialised with the same white presence as the traditional architecture of the place. Between the two of them, an open and shaded area is the only thing needed to enjoy this idyllic location.
The duality between what emerges and what is deposited is not the only one in the project, since in order to protect itself from the surrounding architecture, the volume of the building was designed to be as opaque as possible to the exterior and simultaneously as open to the landscape as possible.
Fenestration is also heterogeneous in the project. The ground floor is opened through the square to both yards that face east and west. The ground floor is a completely open and through space and the upper floor has a single opening overlooking the sea, as if it were a subtraction, through which the rooms are illuminated. Facing the street, a low and longitudinal window illuminates and ventilates the corridor conferring privacy. These three different types of apertures characterise the interior space of the house, bounded, open and contemplative.
The building has been designed to be as closed off as possible towards the outside, and at the same time to be as open as possible to the landscape. The basement level therefore overlooks two patios to guarantee natural, efficient ventilation for the inside. Against this, the upper floors only open out onto the sea, and the natural light that floods the white, rather minimal interiors helps to create a bright, serene atmosphere.