Finding refuge in nature

Costa Brava, Catalonia is famous for its soaring cliff tops, intimate beaches and rocky coves, this holiday house was conceived as a peaceful retreat to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and reconnect with nature. Designed Barcelona-based Garcés – de Seta – Bonet Arquitectes, the house is discretely embedded into the natural landscape, its brutalist, concrete volumes softened by the use of vegetation. Sparsely furnished, the minimalist interiors that flow into terraces and courtyards blurring the distinction between indoors and outdoors and allowing the expansive views of the Mediterranean Sea in the distance to take center stage.
Partly dug into the slope, the house unfolds around a central courtyard as a series of one and two-storey rectilinear volumes set below the surrounding pine-covered area with a green roof further camouflaging its presence. Cast-in-situ concrete lends the building a sculptural sensibility while large windows imbue it with lightness. The central courtyard, which is designed as a patio garden and planted with indigenous vegetation, conveniently separates the communal and private zones, as well as makes sure that all spaces receive plenty of natural light.
The pared-down, brutalist aesthetic of the exterior is carried on inside with sparsely furnished interiors of contemporary minimalism. Exposed poured-in-place concrete walls and ceilings and polished concrete floors constitute an austere canvas that comes to life with the interplay of light and shadow, while walnut wall panelling and ceramic tiles soften the concrete backdrop as do the extensive views of the surrounding nature and the Mediterranean Sea, courtesy of floor-to-ceiling patio doors. A muted colour palette of lighter and darker greys further highlights the verdant hues of the landscaping.
Featured in both the open-plan living and dining area and the bedrooms, the wall-to-wall , floor-to-ceiling patio doors allow these spaces to open up to the exterior, be that the central patio garden, the sea-facing pool terrace or a number of smaller courtyards. With patio doors on two sides, the living and dining space in particular can be seamlessly merged with the exterior areas, exemplifying the team’s embrace of indoor/outdoor living as the way to find refuge in nature.

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