by Jerry ElengicalJul 26, 2022
Completed by Valencia-based architect, Ramón Esteve Cambra, in association with Covet House - a curated design house and showroom headquartered in Portugal - Iberian Modern House is a refurbishment of an existing rural mansion with contemporary furnishings and fittings that create an astute blend of modernity and tradition. Located in the municipality of Rubielos de Mora, in northeastern Spain, the residence is nestled in the settlement’s old quarter. It is surrounded by narrow lanes of similar stone façades, accentuated by rustic woodwork, iron fittings, and overhanging eaves - typical of the region’s ornately designed vernacular architecture. To maintain continuity, the structure’s exterior façade employs similar elements and palettes, albeit with a uniquely modern twist as part of Covet House and Ramón Esteve's architectural intervention.
Opening onto the street, the ground floor hosts the wine cellar and wood store, with an entrance that features the classic Apollo Mirror from Portuguese furniture design house, Boca do Lobo. The piece’s intricate mahogany wood carvings, finished in gold-leaf, exude references to its namesake - the Olympian deity associated with the Sun. Somber dark woods on certain walls contrast the light stone finishes on others, extending the blend of classical and contemporary indoors. Further inside, the home’s spaces are structured as an L-shaped three-storey block that wraps around a courtyard, which was developed as a zone of seclusion for its inhabitants.
The first floor contains the main living spaces, which are more open to daylight through the adjoining courtyard. Accessed by means of a stylised staircase veiled by rhythmically-arranged louvres, the interior design of the living spaces is infused with an air of the mid-century modern. This is especially evident in the Eames-esque lounge chairs and accompanying ottoman, as well as DelightFULL’s Sinatra Floor Lamp in the reading area adjacent to the staircase. At the other end of the space, Boca do Lobo’s Eden Copper centre table, with its naturalistic appearance, acts as the focal point of the living room’s seating arrangement, which also features the Maya armchair by furniture and product design brand Brabbu, upholstered in soft black velvet. The classical touch and smooth curves of the latter complement the rough edges of the former, as well as the linearity of the sofa nearby, to bind the entire arrangement together.
A breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape is on offer from the patio running along the edge of the kitchen and dining area on the same floor. Embedding warmth and a sense of home into the design, wood finishes and timber battens dress the walls, ceilings, and floors. This zone consists of a dining area and a kitchen island - that functions as a counter, sink, and preparation zone. The dining table in the former space rests beneath DelightFULL’s explosively charged Blakey suspension lamp, against a backdrop of copper utensils and vessels that adorn the area’s back wall. Brabbu’s Nuka dining chairs and counter stools line the edges of the table and the rustic kitchen counter next to it, upholstered in soft black velvet with a polished gold nail trim.
Bedrooms, their attached baths, and a solar lounge terrace occupy the second floor, which is slightly more private and closed-off from its surroundings. Rough-hewn stone basins are the highlight elements of the bathrooms, complemented by accent lighting design that adds a streamlined modern touch to an otherwise raw and unpolished element. Views of nearby settlements are available from one of the bathrooms, screened by slender louvres.
Harnessing the charm and aesthetic sensibility of a traditional townhouse in a rural setting, Iberian House is an intimate abode that balances luxury design and traditional architecture through cleverly structured interventions, creating an idyllic setting for daily life to unfold.