Casa DM by Horma Estudio is a canvas for geometric composition and minimalism

Strategised skylights channel the sun deep into the fragmented form of DM House in Valencia, with terracotta-coloured ceramic tiles contrasting its white lime-clad skin.

by Jincy IypePublished on : Dec 22, 2021

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.

Casa DM designed by Horma studio enjoys a geometric composition | Casa DM by Horma – estudio de arquitectura | STIRworld
Casa DM designed by Horma studio enjoys a geometric composition Image: Mariela Apollonio - Fotógrafa de arquitectura

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 Spanish dwelling is articulated as a curved and rectangular volume that balance and enhance each other | Casa DM by Horma – estudio de arquitectura | STIRworld
The Spanish dwelling is articulated as a curved and rectangular volume that balance and enhance each other Image: Mariela Apollonio - Fotógrafa de arquitectura

"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.

A mix of curved and rectangular, red and white walls define the house  | Casa DM by Horma – estudio de arquitectura | STIRworld
A mix of curved and rectangular, red and white walls define the house Image: Mariela Apollonio - Fotógrafa de arquitectura

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 red tiled swimming pool | Casa DM by Horma – estudio de arquitectura | STIRworld
    The red tiled swimming pool Image: Mariela Apollonio - Fotógrafa de arquitectura
  • The neutrality of white is contrasted handsomely with the rich redness of the ceramic tiles | Casa DM by Horma – estudio de arquitectura | STIRworld
    The neutrality of white is contrasted handsomely with the rich redness of the ceramic tiles Image: Mariela Apollonio - Fotógrafa de arquitectura
  • Façade and entrance | Casa DM by Horma – estudio de arquitectura | STIRworld
    Façade and entrance Image: Mariela Apollonio - Fotógrafa de arquitectura

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 spiralling staircase connects all levels in the open space | Casa DM by Horma – estudio de arquitectura | STIRworld
    The spiralling staircase connects all levels in the open space Image: Mariela Apollonio - Fotógrafa de arquitectura
  • A quiet corner of the dwelling | Casa DM by Horma – estudio de arquitectura | STIRworld
    A quiet corner of the dwelling Image: Mariela Apollonio - Fotógrafa de arquitectura
  • The white and red hues follow inside the house as well | Casa DM by Horma – estudio de arquitectura | STIRworld
    The white and red hues follow inside the house as well Image: Mariela Apollonio - Fotógrafa de arquitectura

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.

  • Inside the residence | Casa DM by Horma – estudio de arquitectura | STIRworld
    Inside the residence Image: Mariela Apollonio - Fotógrafa de arquitectura
  • The kitchen and sink area of the ground level | Casa DM by Horma – estudio de arquitectura | STIRworld
    The kitchen and sink area of the ground level Image: Mariela Apollonio - Fotógrafa de arquitectura
  • The open plan living room | Casa DM by Horma – estudio de arquitectura | STIRworld
    The open plan living room Image: Mariela Apollonio - Fotógrafa de arquitectura

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.

A long clerestory window overlooks the terrace pool of the upper floor | Casa DM by Horma – estudio de arquitectura | STIRworld
A long clerestory window overlooks the terrace pool of the upper floor Image: Mariela Apollonio - Fotógrafa de arquitectura

"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.

  • Axonometric diagrams | Casa DM by Horma – estudio de arquitectura | STIRworld
    Axonometric diagrams Image: Courtesy of Horma Estudio
  • (Top to bottom) Ground level, first level and basement level plans | Casa DM by Horma – estudio de arquitectura | STIRworld
    (Top to bottom) Ground level, first level and basement level plans Image: Courtesy of Horma Estudio
  • Elevations | Casa DM by Horma – estudio de arquitectura | STIRworld
    Elevations Image: Courtesy of Horma Estudio

Project Details

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

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