The Mathieson Architects studio based in Sydney, Australia, directed and founded by architect Philip Mathieson, recently completed the design for a residential project on the Costa Brava, in Catalonia, in the northeast corner of Spain. A private residence that offers an ideal refuge for the spirit, a timeless place for living in contemplation of the immense blue of the Mediterranean Sea.
The Australian firm is known for a number of its hotel designs, but above all for its residential projects, area in which it has won numerous awards. Over the past year the studio was recognised at the Australian Institute of Architects ACT Awards 2019 both in the Residential Architecture – Houses (New) category, as well as receiving the Robert Foster Award for Light in Architecture, awarded for excellent use of light (artificial, natural or a combination of both) as an element of the architectural project. Previously, again in the residential category, the firm won the Best Architecture Single Residence Australia award during two separate editions of the Asia Pacific Property Awards (2013 and 2017).
In Spain, the Australian studio designed a villa perched on a plateau set against the backdrop of the splendid Mediterranean maquis of the Costa Brava. The house stands on a sloping plot, immersed in a green area surrounded by imposing pine trees and framed by a wonderful panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea. The building designed by Philip Mathieson and his firm becomes a celebration of the relationship between architecture and landscape. The villa presents itself as a timeless architecture that lives off its landscape, while every element of the design seems to have been deliberately brought to life to frame it or to accompany the visitor in a path that inspires contemplation.
Architect Phillip Mathieson and his team transformed the house into an ideal element that frames the surrounding landscape. Thanks to favourable climatic conditions, the architect designed full-height windows that make it possible to fully enjoy the panoramic views from inside the house. Taking full advantage of the flat area on top of the hill, the architect designed the house based on a regular and mainly horizontal geometry. Seen from above, the house appears like a series of pure white terraces scattered over the landscape, whose impact is enhanced by the contrast with the blue of the infinity pool, the sea and the sky. A large terrace surrounds the house, shielded by brise-soleil elements from the entrance side: an architectural solution that creates shade and helps cool the interior, while at the same time completely eliminating the boundary between the inside and the outside of the house. The portico is pierced in several places by skylights, whose position has been carefully selected to create a continuous play of lights and shadows inside the house that change continuously based on the time of the day and on weather conditions. The entrance is emphasised by a large and imposing wooden door which, when it opens, offers a sweeping and immediate panoramic view of the coast. As perfectly captured by Romello Pereira’s photographic reportage, every element of the house has been designed to ideally frame the surrounding landscape. Even the rustic oak frames of the doors and the floor-to-ceiling windows of the living area open onto an expanse of white horizontal planes, culminating in the blue of the infinity pool, with the sea appearing on the horizon.
Images courtesy of Mathieson Architects, photo by Romello Pereira
Project Name: Costa Brava House
Location: Costa Brava, Spain
Architects: Mathieson Architects www.mathiesonarchitects.com
Photos: Romello Pereira