Villa Guadalmina

Malaga, Spain

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A villa with contemporary design that reflects an open-air, environmentally-aware lifestyle. Lavish use of porcelain stoneware to create indoor-outdoor continuity

A Costa del Sol villa that uses almost no energy. The project by Spanish firm 969Arquitectos originated as a tailor-made garment for their clients: sports-loving people with an open-air, environmentally-aware lifestyle. Villa Guadalmina is a home with pool where the interior interacts seamlessly with the outdoors and contact with nature is sought through the use and evocation of natural materials.

The villa’s contemporary design is stunning: a first-floor block clad with wooden slats, which contains the sleeping area, is supported by two open-ended sections on the ground floor housing the kitchen and living area, overlooking the garden and the pool. The contrast between the warm, intimate wooden skin and the white backdrop of the lower zone “evokes memories of the Mediterranean”, states Fernando Pérez Del Pulgar Mancebo, co-founder of 969Arquitectos. “The interior is designed with natural materials such and lime mortar, wood, stone and fabrics, seeking to convey a link to the Mediterranean environment. We made lavish use of Marazzi porcelain stoneware – especially the Mystone Limestone collection with 40% recycled material, in Ivory colour and the square 120x120 cm size – to cover both the indoor and outdoor floors and paving of all areas and the parts of the home exposed to damp, including some bathroom walls. The collection’s textures and colour enabled us to convey the harmony with nature that this house tries to achieve, because the shades fit perfectly with the garden and the wood of the facade.”

The project features continuity between indoor and outdoor spaces. “As we see it, these intermediate spaces, part indoor and part outdoor, are central to the Mediterranean lifestyle. It’s therefore essential to find materials with which we can make this relationship a fluid one, and that combine aesthetic values with functionality and safety – around the pool, for example. And Marazzi ceramics gave us exactly that.”

Villa Guadalmina is built on Passivhaus principles, with an envelope incorporating an external insulation composite system (ETICS) that eliminates thermal bridges; the high-performance windows seal the facade effectively. Efficiency and energy saving are further enhanced with a highly efficient air-conditioning system connected to an air-source heat pump and solar energy panels. Porcelain stoneware also helps to boost energy efficiency: “ceramics are a fundamental Passivhaus building material because they have intrinsic thermal efficiency”.

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