Fran Silvestre Arquitectos designs Villa 95 in Spain as a single continuous gesture

The home, comprising three staggered volumes that connect at their vertices to emulate a terraced walkway, carve a path that zig-zags through the landscape before it.

by Jerry ElengicalPublished on : Jan 04, 2023

A stark white statement against its verdant backdrop, Fran Silvestre Arquitectos' latest residential design venture, titled Villa 95, is nestled into the rolling landscape of Sotogrande, a development in Spain’s Cádiz Province. On a sloping site replete with lush green cover, the building’s footprint adheres to the flow of the land, composed of a series of cuboidal blocks that have been skewed in orientation and connected at vertices that overlap one another, imbibing a sense of order to this piece of contextual architecture. Devised in the style of a walkway through the site, the structure’s constituent blocks appear to be disconnected but are actually engaged in intimate dialogue throughout their long diagonal spans.

The home’s design exhibits a minimalist form in pure white | Villa 95 | Fran Silvestre Arquitectos | STIRworld
The home’s design exhibits a minimalist form in pure white Image: Courtesy of Fran Silvestre Arquitectos

When reduced to a simple silhouette, sans fenestration, ornament, or any other embellishment, the residence’s morphology emulates a meandering brushstroke upon the terrain, exceedingly pure in its clarity. Minimal in aesthetic, which is typical for a considerable amount of the Valencia-based firm’s body of work, the project’s purpose has been expressed in a sleek and refined design language, harnessing the location’s viability as the ideal site for this type of architectural solution. The practice is also renowned for the rigorous attention to detail seen in their builds, bringing a contemporary architectural aesthetic that does reflect some fundamental characteristics native to Spanish architecture in both the historical and present contexts, most notably the use of pure white walls along the façade design.

Designed as a single continuous movement, Villa 95’s form resembles a zig-zagging brushstroke | Villa 95 | Fran Silvestre Arquitectos | STIRworld
Designed as a single continuous movement, Villa 95’s form resembles a zig-zagging brushstroke Image: Courtesy of Fran Silvestre Arquitectos

However, this is discreetly tempered by the use of ‘paper thin’ concrete slabs which frame large expanses of tinted glass walls that open up to the structure’s surroundings. In effect, this makes the already light form appear almost weightless, floating above the green expanses it rests on, although the base level, along the pool, is grounded by a marble pavement whose weight embeds the building into the earth. Like a slab of stone strewn on the ground, this segment of the residence’s architecture features a trapezoidal cavity that accommodates a swimming pool running along the edge of its surface.

Glass walls wrapped around the front faces of the home open it up to the surrounding landscape | Villa 95 | Fran Silvestre Arquitectos | STIRworld
Glass walls wrapped around the front faces of the home open it up to the surrounding landscape Image: Courtesy of Fran Silvestre Arquitectos

Characteristic of the firm’s work—which is headed by Spanish architect Fran Silvestre—abstract lines and planes mould the intricate spatial relationships between built and unbuilt, open and closed, private and semi-private zones throughout the Z-shaped program. Beginning with the private entrance on the ground level at the bottom of the home’s first block, the four-car garage has been placed next to the laundry area, storage spaces, a guest bedroom, and a movie theatre. Along the choreographed series of spaces in the subsequent arm of the plan, oriented acutely towards the preceding volume, the porch at the other end of this wing leads to an entrance hall, flowing into the living room, kitchen, dining area, and an office which interlocks with one corner of the garage.

  • The ground floor features a sheet of water,, which visually flows into the swimming pool below it | Villa 95 | Fran Silvestre Arquitectos | STIRworld
    The ground floor features a sheet of water, which visually flows into the swimming pool below it Image: Courtesy of Fran Silvestre Arquitectos
  • A shaded multifunctional is located next to the pool | Villa 95 | Fran Silvestre Arquitectos | STIRworld
    A shaded multifunctional is located next to the pool Image: Courtesy of Fran Silvestre Arquitectos

Containing the private residential areas, the first floor is accessible by means of a staircase adjacent to the office and storage space. This most secluded portion of the program is home to four guest bedrooms in addition to the master suite at its extremity, which unites with the corner of the ground floor roof. Lightness, a quality that pervades every fibre of the home’s being, extends to the interior design of these spaces as well, where natural oak and wood wall coverings complement the natural stone flooring. Bold geometric design elements in the furnishings and fittings carry on the vocabulary, seen in Villa 95’s exterior, crafting scenes that recede into the backdrop of the vistas on view from every room. The linearity of each individual plan form in the zig-zag arrangement is also worth noting, where the blocks contain long sequences of continuous spaces, with few, if any spatial breaks between them. In fact, the living area is the best example of this free layout, where only wood-finished partitions have been placed to delineate distinct functional areas.

  • Strong axial symmetry is evident throughout the common areas on the ground floor | Villa 95 | Fran Silvestre Arquitectos | STIRworld
    Strong axial symmetry is evident throughout the common areas on the ground floor Image: Courtesy of Fran Silvestre Arquitectos
  • Lighting design elements serve to reinforce this visual cue | Villa 95 | Fran Silvestre Arquitectos | STIRworld
    Lighting design elements serve to reinforce this visual cue Image: Courtesy of Fran Silvestre Arquitectos
  • Only wooden partitions break the flow of the open plan on this level | Villa 95 | Fran Silvestre Arquitectos | STIRworld
    Only wooden partitions break the flow of the open plan on this level Image: Courtesy of Fran Silvestre Arquitectos

Every point along this sequence of public spaces, boasts a brazen element of axial symmetry, where an observer’s frame of view is sliced in two by either the roof line or the glass walls that wrap around the ground floor. Lighting design strips, fixed along these boundaries reinforce this visual cue even further. At night, the volumes radiate an almost Miesian quality when viewed from outside, putting the contents of the home on show, much like the German-American modernist architect’s famed Farnsworth House.

  • The interior design makes use of earthy tones that exude lightness | Villa 95 | Fran Silvestre Arquitectos | STIRworld
    The interior design makes use of earthy tones that exude lightness Image: Courtesy of Fran Silvestre Arquitectos
  • View of the bathroom | Villa 95 | Fran Silvestre Arquitectos | STIRworld
    View of the bathroom Image: Courtesy of Fran Silvestre Arquitectos
  • Model | Villa 95 | Fran Silvestre Arquitectos | STIRworld
    Model Image: Courtesy of Fran Silvestre Arquitectos

On the roof of the second volume, a wafer-thin sheet of water reflects the azure hues of the sky above during daytime, bordered by an open terrace with seating spaces. The edge of this water body merges seamlessly with the swimming pool on the level beneath it, as both infinitely stretch on towards the horizon. As the culmination of the home’s playful succession of spaces, this area finally opens itself up completely to the outside, near another shaded multifunctional space from where inhabitants can bask in views of the open landscape.

  • Basement Floor Plan | Villa 95 | Fran Silvestre Arquitectos | STIRworld
    Basement Floor Plan Image: Courtesy of Fran Silvestre Arquitectos
  • VGround Floor Plan | Villa 95 | Fran Silvestre Arquitectos | STIRworld
    Ground Floor Plan Image: Courtesy of Fran Silvestre Arquitectos
  • First Floor Plan| Villa 95 | Fran Silvestre Arquitectos | STIRworld
    First Floor Plan Image: Courtesy of Fran Silvestre Arquitectos

Project Details

Name: Villa 95
Location: Sotogrande, Cádiz, Spain
Architect: Fran Silvestre Arquitectos
Principal In Charge: Fran Silvestre, Andrea Raga, David Cirocchi, Miguel Massa
Architect Partner: Manuel Suárez Arquitectos
Developer: DUS DESARROLLOS INMOBILIARIOS, Cork Oak Mansion                                                               
Interior Design: Alfaro Hofmann
Collaborating Architects: María Masià, Pablo Camarasa, Ricardo Candela, Estefanía Soriano, Sevak Asatrián, Carlos Lucas, Jose Manuel Arnao, Andrea Baldo, Miguel Massa, Paloma Feng, Javi Herrero, Gino Brollo, Angelo Brollo, Paloma Feng, Paco Chinesta, Anna Alfanjarín, Laura Bueno, Toni Cremades, David Cirocchi, Gabriela Schinzel, Lucas Manuel, Nuria Doménech, Andrea Raga, Olga Martín, Valeria Fernandini, Víctor González, Sandra Insa, Gemma Aparicio

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