by Jerry ElengicalJan 04, 2023
Located in a breezy Spanish neighbourhood, Casa DM designed by local office Horma Estudio is intimate yet free, prioritising “privacy and freedom” in its strict composition of geometric forms, making it stand out from numerous architectural examples of modern minimalism. The residential architecture with its picturesque form and uncluttered interiors employs an expansive plan and program, unfolding across two levels with living and guest areas and a basement hosting leisure spaces. A sculptural sensibility of geometric abstraction and a generated continuum of spaces imbues the DM House with a soothing and invigorating sense of contemplation and wonderment. "Matter, geometry, and space work in harmony and, at the same time, their relationships constantly vary, giving rise to very diverse spaces, designed according to the needs of the inhabitant,” says the studio based in Valencia, Spain.
The charming house unravels as choreographed fragmented volumes clad in white lime cladding, contrasted handsomely with terracotta-coloured ceramic canvases of 10x10 tiles that ensure a continuation of the interior transitions with the exterior, "without losing the unity of the whole," according to the Spanish architects. A shape-shifting, emphasised geometry is established with the contrasting curved and rectangular figures that make up the dwelling, tied together with a gabled white form overlooking a jam red, tiled pool rounded at a corner, resting at the house’s edge, traversing with a half-barrel vault with a distinct high skylight resting at the other one.
"The proposal aims to articulate a wide domestic program fragmenting the scale of the set both volumetrically and spatially. The composition of different volumes and geometries, together with the constant dialogue between materials, makes it possible to reduce and control the relationship between the parts of the project, both from their interior space and from their external perception,” the design team explains.
The orientation of the residential design opens intentionally to the south and east, protecting the house from the western sun and providing a “hermetic relationship” on its northern end, where privacy from future neighbours could be compromised. “The lighting and ventilation of the rooms on this north façade will be studied from the variable section of the complex itself, offering natural light and ventilation to each of the spaces of the house,” they add.
The spacious and muted interior design embraces a minimal setting, coming alive with the white and terracotta tones, witnessed in the continuous terrazzo that defines the public area of the ground floor. This level has been set with a family program, sandwiched by a guest floor above, and a recreation basement level below, that has a more sheltered relationship than the rest. The former is taken over by an airy living, dining and kitchen area that lead into a series of tiled patios, while bedrooms have been placed in a private zone. Lounge areas and small pocket pools adorn the lower half of the Spanish architecture, with an elongated clerestory window overlooking the terrace pool of the upper floor. A bright red spiralling metal staircase, referencing the terracotta tiles, links this level to the one below to the ground floor.
The 400 sqm Casa DM in its section finds complete meaning via its proposed scale, enhanced by designated light inputs, defining the interior rooms and linking all levels with strategised skylights. This way, the dwelling is wholly and visually connected, with natural light filtering and flooding its way from the roof to the cohesively united levels of the house. This continuity and the vastness that the neutral white brings, along with the materiality both inside and outside, establishes limits and separations that are subtle, and almost non-existent.
The crisp white permits the reddish hues of the ceramic and bright greens of the vegetation to balance the space to enhance each other’s visual presence. In conjunction with the maple and cherry woods of the furniture, the DM House amazes with its subtle, competent and wholesome vision.
"Matter, geometry and space work in harmony and, at the same time, their relationships vary, giving rise to very diverse spaces, designed according to the needs of the inhabitant. Freedom and privacy are understood to achieve the initially established objectives,” the design team relays.
Name: Casa DM
Location: Puerto de Sagunto, Valencia, Spain
Area: 400 sqm
Year of completion: 2021
Architect and Interior Designer: Horma – estudio de arquitectura
Design team: Nacho Juan, Clara Cantó, Jose Iborra, Ana Riera, Belén Iglesias, Andrés Herrero, María Mateo