- MDBA Architects
"Sometimes, architecture is so delicate that it becomes almost like poetry." writes journalist Bart De Maesschalck with regards to the project. "In such cases, there is no longer a uniform meaning, only interpretation. The design manifests itself in all its layers and is interpreted differently every time. Rationality fades into intuition. Mere aesthetic and functionality is transcended and all that is left is insinuation."
Almost imperceptibly, the home disappears into the landscape. In fact, it is created out of the landscape. The building and its surroundings originate from each other in an almost organic way. Just a few windows give the illusion that there is more. Orange trees grow in clusters on the estate. The terrain's natural slopes were left untouched. The existing paved terraces form the foundation for the villa, that looks like it arose from the rubble stone walls that cut through the parcel.
The terraces' topology is the basis of the building. While that natural levelling sets a basic rhythm, the house incorporates the existing walls that run across the terrain. Surrounded by these retaining walls, the house emerges like a cross between a traditional castle and a contemporary Spanish hacienda
The villa was designed so that it could offer its residents the best views and as much sunshine and light as possible. In addition, it is positioned with its back to the occasional heavy winds that come from the valley. In a similar protective gesture, the house embraces a central patio featuring an outdoor fireplace and a large pergola offering shade. This embracing gesture creates an immaterial outdoor living space.
In the south, the climate invites you to go out. The villa's objective is to blur the border between indoor and outdoor spaces. The interior and exterior reinforce each other. At every level. From the location to the orientation and materials used. With this project, we want to show that architecture does not stop at the shell, but one's attitude towards the interior is also a contributing factor for the building's total experience.
When you enter the villa, it feels like it is taking you on an architectural walking tour. Almost intuitively, it leads you from one space into another, from one room into another. When entering the house, visitors come into a stretched-out hallway with a wall made entirely out of glass on one side revealing the patio enclosed by imposing walls. You are overcome with a feeling of privacy. When you turn left through the hallway, a new world opens up to you. The kitchen features enormous glass surfaces affording an open view on the valley, village and sea. When you open the window to the patio, the indoor and outdoor spaces fully merge into each other.
When we return to the hallway, it takes you around a bend towards the stairs that mark the separation between the public and private sections. There, you will find three bedrooms alongside each other, on three different levels because of the naturally sloping terrain. Every room has its own bathroom, while the beds are positioned in front of a floor-to-ceiling window overlooking a private garden delimited by the existing walls from which the rooms seem to have originated. After the last bedroom, you take a turn towards the master bathroom, which leads to a sunken patio on the left and the master bedroom on the right. The master bedroom is oriented towards the swimming pool.