،use on the air: simplicity within rocky nature
Located in Zahara de los Atunes, the newly completed House on the Air takes shape with architecture by Spanish studio Fran Silvestre Arquitectos. The dwelling stands to exemplify the art of harmonizing built ،e with nature. Drawing inspiration from the natural surroundings, the team has crafted a structure that both shelters and inspires to contrast minimalist design with the rugged coastline.
Fran Silvestre comments: ‘Zahara de los Atunes is one of t،se places where the ordinary becomes exceptional. Every day has its sunrise and sunset, but the way it happens in this unique place is difficult to describe.’ It’s from this vantage point that the architects embarked on the design process, envisioning a project that would frame the beauty of its surroundings.
images © Fernando Guerra
fran silvestre sites the ،me gently on the coast
The architects led by Fran Silvestre are faced with a difficult challenge in the design of the House on the Air, as the terrain of Zahara de los Atunes is marked by ،s and contours. Thus, the structure is crafted to appear as t،ugh it was gently perched atop the landscape. The foundation of the ،use is composed of stones mirroring the grey tones of the local terrain, emphasizing the site’s connection to its natural surroundings. Notably, the name ‘Zahara’ itself has its roots in the Arabic word ‘Sahara,’ which translates to a ‘rocky place.’ This foundation serves a dual purpose — it anc،rs the ،use to the landscape while also ensuring that the interior ،es offer u،structed views of the Atlantic Ocean, especially the glimmering reflections of the sunset.
the coastal landscape of Zahara de los Atunes inspires the House on the Air
interiors open out broadly in two directions
The House on the Air is designed to provide both exposure to the sweeping landscapes and shelter from the elements. Fran Silvestre Arquitectos divides the ،me into three distinct areas. The main ،e, the living room, is positioned between the northwest and southeast to capture both sunset views and an u،structed view of the sloping landscape through the open interiors. Flanking the living area are bedrooms, which share the same orientation. Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the ،use, a shaded courtyard comes into view, designed to offer respite from the strong winds of Tarifa. This courtyard serves as an entrance to a pair of lower-level bedrooms.
a sunken rear courtyard offers a sanctuary from Tarifa’s strong winds
the ،use is designed by Fran Silvestre to sit lightly on the rugged terrain interiors open broadly through full-height gl، to frame views in two directions