This single-family house is located in the Region of Murcia, in a residential area of semidetached, modern and eminently white houses. From a distance, its clear and avant-garde appearance seeks to integrate the house with the rest of the surrounding dwellings. A travertine-effect porcelain tiles offer this clear and luminous vision, but in its proximity, it confers the texture, warmth and naturalness typical of stone materials.
When the commission was received, the structure of the house was already in built and the volumetric conception was half defined; however, the previous project did not fully convince its future owners. Manuel García‘s design is based on respect for this initial idea and focuses on its materiality. “The aim is to present an eminently horizontal home, very compact and material, with cladding executed with care and detail. A succession of planes that are overlapped reminds of strata layers”.
The volumes that create the floor slabs appear as large objects resting on the main prism of the complex. There are no railings, but rather these elements act as protection. The grouting of the porcelain tiles on the entire facade reinforces this whole idea. The formation of the entrance, the steps at the entrance and the staircase itself follow the same approach. The steps are “levitating”, again without a handrail. Just a succession of horizontal planes that follow one after the other until they reach the bedrooms.
Discreet exteriors designed for enjoyment
The plot, of small dimensions, is designed for enjoyment and easy maintenance. Due to the climate of the area, the ground floor is open to the outside to take advantage of the mild winters and the abundant sunny days that this area offers. On the upper floor, the bedrooms open onto the uncovered terrace that surrounds this level. The limited use of water, so lacking throughout the province, is reflected in the occasional use of vegetation, echoing the environmental responsibility that is very present the entire region. The location also makes necessary the design of large overhangs and lattices in the outdoor areas to provide solar protection in the hot summers.
Every square meter counts
The design programme is simple and compact. The ground floor opens to the outside through an open-plan day area, with no corridors and plenty of storage areas. It also incorporates a garage, a service area and a small guest room. The first floor is composed by the master suite and a second multi-purpose bedroom.
Materials, the common link
The house is built with the minimum possible materials. The exterior cladding is taken to the main interior walls. The flooring is also made of the same porcelain, enhancing the connection of spaces and the uniformity of the house. The wood blockboard, present in the suspended interior and exterior ceilings, responds to the need to counteract the hardness of the ceramic walls. We opted for a smoked oak, which was extended to other carpentry elements such as the storage in the living room and bedrooms.
The counterpoint is found in the presence of black vetted porcelain used to highlight certain elements such as the pedestrian entrance or the swimming pool on the outside area and the staircase or the kitchen island in the interior. This space, whose carpentry modules have been finished in anthracite grey lacquer, appears as a backdrop, offering depth to the day area.
Looking up to the sky
The volume of the staircase forms a large skylight that divides the house in two, allowing us to contemplate both, the sky and the bright Mediterranean light. This opening, created by slabs of large glass panes embedded in the masonry, also extends on the ground floor over the garage, it is flooding with light what in another project would be a dark and merely service space.
The same opening appears in the bathroom in the master suite. Above the bathtub, the slatted ceiling conceals a second skylight that allows the subtle light to filter-in during the day and to enjoy a view of the stars at night. A central volume integrates the bathtub and washbasins, and is located underneath the skylight. It is the main volume of an open-plan space created for body worship.
A careful selection of furniture completes the interior design
In the suite, furniture of pleasant, rounded shapes, made of veneer or natural fabrics, are coordinated with the tones of the house, offering harmony and uniqueness. The lighting, with a large presence of indirect light, integrated into the coffered ceilings or carpentry elements, provides an atmosphere of low luminance and lighting comfort. This solution avoids showing the light drivers and therefore avoids glare.
In the daytime area, the turned wood chairs or the sofa made up of XL size modules stand out among others elements, as well as the outdoor furniture on the different terraces. All of them are pieces designed for use and enjoyment. A furniture selection that has opted for timeless design and quality from national and local firms, which also place value on the importance of caring for the environment, allowing to lower the impact of the carbon footprint of the home.
Efficiency in all senses
Leaving aesthetics aside, another priority has been to achieve an efficient and avant-garde home in many aspects. For example, the exterior carpentry has been resolved by sliding windows from Technal’s Lumeal XXL series with smoked solar control glass, achieving high performance with minimal profiles. On the other hand, the Ultimatum Pure model by Pirnar has been selected for the main entrance door, finished in black glass and fitted with a flush handle with backlighting or fingerprint scanner, among other features. Finally, it is also worth mentioning the overflow pool, made entirely of large-format black veined porcelain tiles. In it, a jacuzzi area, waterfalls and a counter-current swimming motor have been integrated. In addition, the water is heated by solar panels to allow its use all year round.
Project name: House in Murcia; Location: Murcia; Constructed area: 225 m2; Plot area: 440 m2; Year: 2022; Interior design: Manuel García; Construction company: AIS Obras y Estructuras; Photography: Diego Opazo;