On the coast of Salobreña in Granada, next to the Mediterranean Sea, there’s one of the most original house designs we can find worldwide. Included by the BBC in their ‘The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes’ collection, it is the result of an ambitious project that mixes architecture with the imagination and creativity of the designers.
This idea comes from a private commission to Gill Bartolomé architects, who faced the challenge of building this dream house on a hill of 42 degrees of inclination.
The form that the house has acquired, according to the words of the designers themselves, produces “a calculated aesthetic ambiguity between the natural and the artificial, between the skin of a dragon set in the ground, when seen from below, and the waves of the sea, when seen from above.”
The house is composed of two floors: a large terraced living area, following the slope of the mountain, connected to a terrace with a swimming pool, and a second floor with rooms that have viewpoints to the roof. The main space of the house can also become a stage and an auditorium for 70 people, also handy to host large parties, completely open to the beautiful landscape.
Due to the recession situation in Spain and the budget, the designers decided to avoid machine made industrial construction system and develop instead an architecture that is based on many hours of labour. In addition, this project breaks with the idea that, due to the economic crisis that the country has suffered in the last decade, design architecture has gone into the background.
The most complex elements of the house can serve as an example of this approach: the reinforced concrete structure of the roof, based on a manually executed metal formwork, the tiles that cover the roof handmade and hand put, the ceilings made of gypsum plaster, the interior bespoke furniture made with fiberglass and polyester resin are all designed through digital design software, but manufactured by hand on site, using the ancient method of “measuring from plans” and also allowing room for the workers creativity and abilities to achieve the general aesthetical goals that were discussed during the site visits.
The house features two complex elements that have been economically feasible thanks to technical innovations. The roof was produced through a handcrafted formwork system develop on a patent by a local engineer Dr. Manuel Rojas, using a very efficient deformable metal mesh.
The designers and all participants in the project stated that due to the complexity and the beauty of the house, it has proved that “everyone is ready to give the extra mile when there is an ambitious goal that point towards a result that is of worth”.
Gil Bartolome’s Directors have experience developing large scale international projects. Jaime Bartolomé and Pablo Gil have collaborated with Zaha Hadid Architects, Richard Rogers Partnership and David Chipperfield Architects in London. If you are interested to know more about this project, please check the designer website: http://www.gilbartolome.com/portfolio/house-on-the-cliff-in-the-coast-of-granada-spain/