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Office Kersten Geers David van Severen, Spain, House

A Roofed-In Panorama: Solo House in Spain

The coast of Spain is built up, and luxury holidaymakers are looking to the hinterland. This offers a good opportunity – cum grano salis – for the Solo House project by Paris real-estate developer and gallerist Christian Bourdais. In the no man’s land of the border region between Catalonia and Aragón, nearly equidistant from Barcelona, Valencia and Zaragoza, Bourdais would like to erect 15 holiday homes and a hotel using designs from the up-and-coming generation of architects. The first Solo House, designed by Chilean Pezo von Ellrichshausen, is standing already. The second, by Office Kersten Geers David van Severen (KGDVS) has just been completed. Other designs are yet to come from architects such as Sou Fujimoto, Christ & Gantenbein, Didier Faustino, Studio Mumbai and Kuehn Malvezzi. The Serbian architect Smiljan Radic is responsible for the hotel.

The name of the houses says it all: wealthy clients will be able to experience the stress-free solitude of the Spanish hinterland here. Bourdais emphasizes that getting here is no problem: the nearest airport, Reus, is just a 75 minutes’ drive away on the highway, and it only takes three-quarters of an hour to reach the Mediterranean coast.

The new structure by KGDVS stands on a small rise with a panoramic view. All around, there are only bush and pine forests. Essentially, the house is not much more than a roof. But what a roof: the ring of concrete with a diameter of 45 metres rests on 36 steel supports. On top of the roof, the architects have placed a series of sculptures designed by artist Pieter Vermeersch. Only a closer look reveals these as water tanks and solar-energy modules. According to KGDVS, the house has no connection to the electricity or water networks.

Under the ring of the roof, the house offers a lot of free space, along with three 60-m² glazed units where four people can live and sleep. Exterior expanded-metal panels and interior curtains keep the low-lying sun and undesired inquisitive glances (should they occur) at bay. Most of the glass façades can be slid to the side, so the guests can overnight in the open air if they wish to.

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