idden among the hills of Castellón, the countryside of the Mediterranean coast of Valencia, a winding road twists and turns through an immense territory populated with almond and olive trees, interspersed, here and there, by tiny Mediaeval villages. Designed by the Dutch artist Xander Spronken, this surprising, atypical villa stands in the centre of a bewitching landscape.
Is it a sculpture? Not quite… A home? Not exactly... This Spanish retreat joins the two together, a union in which art enhances architecture and vice versa.
An arrhythmic series of 53, 6-metre-high columns with a dry, monumental effect stands out against the landscape of the Iberian mountains. Here, concrete pillars support old wooden beams, previously the anchorage pylons of the port of Rotterdam. In part, they are sculpture-like freestanding structures that expand and delineate the space merely with their presence and in part, they are covered with bamboo canes that filter the light of the pergola that surrounds the villa. Distinctively visible, a further part is found in the double-heighted spaces, inside the house.
There appears to be a nonexistent separation between interiors and exteriors. Large windows, mounted on practically imperceptible frames, create a free-flowing space that without interruption, opens up to the surrounding landscape. The villa is composed by separate two units, the main house and the guest house, 160 and 150 sqm respectively. Each one has an open-plan kitchen and a living room area, on the double-heighted ground floor, two bedrooms with two bathrooms on the mezzanine floor and outdoors, a large pergola and a swimming pool. On the south-east side, the main house faces the mountains of the Penyagolosa Natural Park and opposite, the other unit faces the vastness of the olive groves.
The Spronken House was designed with no half measures, a great project of a great artist. Open-plan and free-flowing, it’s integrated into the boundless landscape, claiming its individuality with archaic force. The monumental pillars that evoke the legendary colonnades of the Greek temples, transform it into a magical place, in which you feel part of the infinite universe that surrounds you.
Location: Alcatén region (Castellón), Spain
Architecture and interior design project:
Xander Spronken and
Architecture studio Sanahuja & Partners
Obras y Construcciones Jesús Sales S.L.
Courtesy Sanahuja & Partners
Credits Joan Guillamat