The Sunflower House

Perched on the cliffside above the Mediterranean Sea in Cap de Creus, a rocky peninsula off Spain’s Costa Brava south of the French border. The Sunflower House is both blessed with breathtaking views and a sun-deprived orientation that also leaves it completely exposed to the region’s punishing north winds that can reach up to 180 kilometres by hour. Barcelona and Mexico-based award-winning architecture studio Cadaval & Solà-Morales faced these challenges with ingenuity, taking advantage of the local topography and climate to design a modern residence that takes in its surroundings in compartments rather than one large expanse.

Diving precipitously into the sea, the dry tree-less foothills of the Pyrenees create a wild landscape of ever shifting views that lend Cap de Creus a dramatic sensibility. It was this scenic quality with its promise of great views along with the Mediterranean sun that attracted Mel and Geoff, the house’s owners, to this plot of land. Its north-facing orientation however meant that despite the panoramic vistas sun exposure was minimal. The design of the two-storey house therefore evolved from the twin quest for views and sunlight. Similarly to a sunflower that turns its head to track the sun, each room juts out in a different direction to optimize its sun exposure as well as break down the sweeping seascape panorama into intimate views.

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