Architects: Fran Silvestre Arquitectos
Location: Ayora, Valencia, Spain
Project Architects: Fran Silvestre, Mª José Sáez
Project Team: Pedro Vicente López López, José Ángel Ruíz Millo, José Vicente Miguel López, Fernando Usó Martín, Javier Cardós Elena
Interior Design: Alfaro Hofmann
Site Area: 477 square meters
Project Area: 230 square meters
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Fernando Alda
The “Casa en la ladera de un castillo” or “House on the Slope of a Castle,” (hereinafter referred to as House on the Rocks), is a remarkable minimalist home designed by Fran Silvestre Arquitectos. The residence itself is modern, linear, geometric, elegant and stunningly stark white jutting out from a mountainside overlooked by a castle and is located in Ayora near Valencia. This single-family residence has been designed to “integrate into the environment, respecting the strategies of adaptation to the environment using non mimesis materials that would lead to misleading historicism, thereby showing the time constructively to meet the requirements of the “new dwellers.”
The stark white single-family residence is located in a landscape of unique beauty, the result of a natural and evident growth, against the stunning natural backdrop. The mountain, crowned by a castle, is covered by individual houses juxtaposed mutually as they entwine a disjointed white fabric adapted to the extraordinary topography. The “House on the Rocks” proposes architecture that integrates into the environment - this was also the design challenge, with respect to their policy of adjustment to the natural setting. With this in mind, the house is conceived as a volume positioned into the rocky mountainside; a volume which uses white lime and a sense of constructive continuity reduces openings to a minimum expression. It conveys all of this whilst making the most of the plot's contours and conforming to the disintegration of the surrounding environment.
The “House on the Rocks” was designed with three main factors in mind: The owners demanded privacy and sun washed interiors, as well as available budget, the third factor which they had to consider at all times. In its interior, the three-storey house was designed with a void which acted as a divider, the void acting as the core of communication cut a parallel disposition of the mountain without touching it. Additionally, this void is adjacent to a skylight which allows for abundant natural lighting which flows through the interiors.
The cellar can be found on the ground floor, on the first floor one comes across the children’s bedrooms and a bathroom which open up to a private street. The master bedroom on the upper floor overlooks the houses across the street and the Valley of Ayora. While on the top floor, one will also find the study, an open plan kitchen with the dining room and the living room. The study is opened in turn to central double height, incorporating it into the space.
The interiors of the residence follow the same minimal scheme as the exterior architecture. The interior design of this residence is so minimal that one could easily mistake it for being of Japanese origin. White limestone finishing’s cover the flooring throughout the house where the walls have been painted in a cool white tone, while white lacquered MDF doors and the kitchen have been painted in an unruffled white tone of RAL 9010. The interior reflects the light onto the white-washed walls from the many openings throughout. Simple lines and geometric spaces with privacy and abundant natural lighting are formed within the residence, having thus accomplished the demands of the clients. Overall, the “House on the Rocks” is a remarkable house which is simple, with its white geometric volumes which pierce the existing landscape, although it is built into the stunning natural backdrop.