Villa CP by Zest Architecture: a former farmhouse is transformed into a sustainable holiday home in Spain
Perched on a hill in a National Park in Girona, Villa CP is a family holiday home designed by Catalan firm Zest Architecture. Created for a client with a sharp eye for design, this project is a worthy addition to the architects’ portfolio of sustainable buildings.
By acquiring a decaying farmhouse whose rustic original appearance had to be retained by law, the client sought to create a home that would be ‘at one with nature’. The architects seized the opportunity and rebuilt the original stone walls to the same aesthetic, while inserting a new corten steel structure in the hollowed interior.
The stone façade has striking large openings with protruding rusted steel-framed windows, capturing incredible views over the landscape of cork trees and the Mediterranean sea beyond. The choice of contrasting materials extends to the house’s interiors, where clay, steel, and wood are balanced together to create a unique atmosphere.
Due to its original design, the house’s walls are not straight. To offset these angles, the architects’ interventions were deliberately orthogonal - an example of this being the sculptural staircase that connects the two levels. Another unique space in the house is a spa-like outdoor wet room, lit by a punctuated steel façade that lets the light playfully in.
The house comprises two floors: the bedrooms are located on the lower level, which is partially sunk into the hill’s slope, and the ‘social’ areas - the kitchen, dining, and living room - were placed upstairs. The façade on the upper floor opens onto a carefully landscaped garden with a terrace and an infinity swimming pool, filtered by plants and gravel. The villa’s other key sustainable features include the use of locally-sourced cork insulation, clay finishes in the interior, and geothermal heating and cooling.
The project is sustainable in its construction and longevity thanks to a careful choice of materials. Zest Architecture designed a family holiday home that harmoniously juxtaposes old and new styles in line with the surrounding nature and environment. This restoration project also serves as the inspiration for the architects’ installation at the ’Time Space Existence’ collateral event at the Venice Architecture Biennale at Palazzo Mora.