A Dreamy, Minimalist Retreat in Spain Opens to Its Lush Surroundings

A Dreamy, Minimalist Retreat in Spain Opens to Its Lush Surroundings

Positioned along the Mediterranean, the family home features modernist lines and a living area that connects to a gorgeous backyard.

Situated below La Concha mountain in the Spanish city of Marbella is a simple white home tucked into a lush site. With a detached guest house, the residence, a renovation and expansion of an old villa by Febrero Studio, was imagined for a young couple with a baby who love entertaining family and friends. Clean lines and pure forms evoke modernist aesthetics, while its character and materiality speak to local vernacular.

"The brief was very clear from the first moment," says Febrero Studio, a Madrid-based architecture and design firm founded by Mercedes Gonzales Ballesteros and Jesús Díaz Osuna. "They wanted a house with open spaces that create a big impact and a calm, peaceful atmosphere."

The volumes of the main home are shaped by the structure of the villa that stood on the site. It had been completely abandoned, but the structural brickwork and concrete was in perfect condition. So, the architects decided to preserve these elements and extend the existing structure out to create the new home.

The roughly 3,230-square-foot home is divided into a private "night area" and expansive, open-plan space for living, cooking, and dining. The living space is on a lower level that opens to the pool, and a semipublic entrance corridor separates the two spaces. There’s also a separate guest house, which is fully independent.

The floor of the "day area" extends from the interior to the exterior and leads out to the pool, which is surrounded by a lush garden. This, in addition to large windows that frame the surrounding landscape, and the pergola that shades the outdoor dining space near the pool, dissolve the lines between inside and out. Conversely, the "night area" of the home has smaller window and door openings, giving the space a more private feeling.

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Throughout, a palette of natural materials complement the beautiful setting. The floor is constructed from large sheets of natural stone by Pangaea, the walls are artisanal clay, and all the timber is American ash with a natural water-based protection.

"All interior materials are natural and in the same range of color—mainly beige and sand," say the designers. "It took a lot of time to find the various materials and to get them to work together as a whole."

The natural materiality of the home is complemented by carefully crafted timber furniture and statement lighting, such as the simple timber beam that hangs above the kitchen island, or the trio of striking geometric pendants above the dining table.

"All the spaces in the home have been designed for slow life and relaxation without any shrillness and are based on the purity of materials," say the designers. "Our favorite part of the project is the way the kitchen and living area open out to the pergola and pool in one continuous space."

Floor Plan of Casa JMA by Febrero Studio

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