It was mid-August 2016 when our Director Deborah, at 34 weeks pregnant, was called to attend a meeting in the glamorous coastal town of S’Agaró, on Spain’s Costa Brava, to discuss plans to create a large new build home and renovate a smaller existing finca (farmhouse) for a private family.
The farmhouse, a two storey structure that keep cools in the Summer and warm in the Winter, was built in traditional Catalan style. It needed to be adapted to become a luxurious pool house incorporating a spa, gym, hair salon, massage room, and changing room. At that stage, what we didn’t know, was that this phase of the project was to be ready for the following Summer, just ten months after our appointment!
Before – August 2016 /After – July 2017
Deborah felt inspired by the existing architecture and chose to incorporate the details that made this farmhouse so special, as well as researching some of the other local traditions and features.
We designed a much more practical space plan and furniture arrangement to allow more light into the somewhat gloomy areas, and to better suit the needs of this sociable and party-loving family. It was incredibly important that the design and materials were well suited to the climate in this warm and salty part of the world!
As with any construction project, especially one which needed to be entirely bi-lingual and with a local construction and architecture team, there were some ups and downs during the fast paced journey. The creative satisfaction and sense of accomplishment quickly outweighed the challenges when we revealed the completed pool house in June 2017 and the Client moved in that very summer.
We adore curves and wanted to celebrate this curved wall by cladding it in these traditional Catalunyan brick slips. It was important for our Client that we bring a sense of luxury to this very unusual space, the oversize Ochre love-seat in this image really catches the eye.
The other view of this room featuring the custom media wall joinery.
We layered up the finishes in the son’s bedroom to bring warmth to the stone floor and brick wall, the silk wallpaper is particularly effective here and we adore the beautiful antique sideboard, sourced in Barcelona.
The master bedroom leads onto a spacious dressing area, there is a very subtle balance between the rusticity of the brick and the luxury of the styling, you can see a peek of the geometric bedside tables from locals Serge Castella.
On completion of the pool house and having settled our clients in, we brought our focus back to the much larger main house being excavated in the adjacent plot, and due to complete in only two years.
One of the most difficult challenges to the timeline was having to stop works from June to the end of September every year, due to the building restrictions in S’Agaró. This break allows the residents in this beautifully manicured seaside landscape to enjoy the environment during their precious Summer rather than be subjected to the trucks, noise and dust that are inherently part of the construction process and have riddled the rest of the Costa Brava.
On her very first stay in S’Agaró, our Director Deborah had stayed at the ‘La Gavina’ hotel which sits close by to the property, this is a hotel famous for its glamorous past having hosted iconic Hollywood figures.
Much of the architecture we designed, alongside the local architect Ignacio Herrero, was inspired by the hotel. The vaulted portico that runs around the outside of the new house is a direct translation of the vaulted portico under which Deborah had a coffee with Ignacio the first time they met. These curves and ceiling detailing create a language that is used time and again in our designs for the houses and landscapes. Whilst there was a temptation to create a uniquely modern approach to the houses, there is an integrity and old-fashioned-ness that permeates the bay of S’Agaró and we wanted to enhance this.
It was important that the house nestled into the landscape, the traditional tiled roof and stucco exterior give a sense of softness under the brilliance of the Costa Brava sun.
These striking crittal screens frame the bespoke teak doors to create the grandest of entrances to this unique Mediterranean home.
We will be sharing more images of this interior in the near future, so please stayed tuned via our instagram page.