In the area between Calpe and Altea, overlooking the Peñón de Ifach (Rock of Ifach), Silvestre Architects has designed a house that appears to be floating in the air, a place where the owner feels like he is walking on water. The blank canvas for this cliff house was a steep lot with sea views. When it came time to design the home the architects realised that the site made them want to do nothing more than be still and take in the views. Respecting the profile of the terrain, the architects lifted the white structure in the air so that it casts an impressive shadow on the ground below. On sunny days one can sit next to the flat white of the house, calmly facing the Mediterranean Sea while sheltered from the sun.
The single-floor plan features an infinity pool set apart from the house like a quiet cove. Environment and planning underpin this project: a commitment to combine respect for the environment with an attempt to capture it. The rocky mountain profile has remained intact, a spot where you can imagine that everything in sight, everything calm and peaceful that can be observed from this impressive watchtower, is yours.
The interior layout of the house is the result of the architects’ attention to detail; because the architects understand that a home forms part of the identity of its inhabitants the end user was considered throughout the design process. A clear glass-framed lookout from the living room gives the owner the only view of the pool from inside the house. Located on a lower level, the pool can be accessed by a simple stairway on the side of the home, the only feature on an otherwise entirely blank canvas. The pool deck, located at the edge of the foundation, provides peaceful views of the horizon from its edge.
Given the steep slope of the lot and in keeping with the customer’s wish to build on a single level, the house was built with a three-dimensional structure of walls and reinforced concrete slabs that adapts to the topography to ensure as little earth moving as possible. The concrete structure was thermally isolated with a smooth, flexible, and white stucco finish; the same colour used in the area’s traditional architecture and which provides the perfect contrast to the deep blue of the sea. Using white also makes the variations in light throughout the day more noticeable. The colour was carried through to other materials as well (walls, flooring, the loose stones on the roof, etc.) to emphasise the home’s unifying characteristics.