Today we are privileged to tour inside a project that is full of tradition, yet bursting with modern sustainable elements at the same time. That sounds like quite a feat, doesn't it? What is most special about this property is the link created by the architect Inaki Leite, who brings out his Galician roots through the design of the property. Located on the Arousa estuary in Rias Baixas, as you will soon see, the home has an obvious connection through its material quality with the mussel industry of the area. The mussels farmed in the area grow on ropes, which are connected to rafts made of Eucalyptus timber. Dezanove House honours the traditional practice of the site by using the same wood to reflect the culture and vernacular of the Arousa estuary. Dezanove means nineteen in the Galician language, and is cleverly the street number where this spectacular property is located. Take a look…
Given the sunny nature of the area, a response to the climatic conditions was necessary in order to make the house liveable in even the most harsh of summer months. This has been achieved by the installation of a series of shutters, which can open and close depending on how much light the occupants want to penetrate the space. This part of the house has been oriented to absorb the winter sun, negating the need for artificial heating, yet providing the same thermal benefits by blocking out the sun during the months when the inside would preferably be kept cool. From this angle, it is not possible to appreciate the complete beauty of the house, but you can begin to understand how the architect has intertwined his respect for the land into the design.
The wood pictured has been floating at sea for over 25 years, and is retired from use after this amount of time has elapsed. So, what better way to reuse such a natural piece of beauty than in the architecture of a home? Two volumes are present from this angle; the glassed sections are used for living, with the bedrooms and private areas housed behind this overtly public section.
Stepping inside, we see the fluid nature of the open plan living space and the exciting panorama that exists outside. The house could not have been oriented any other way than towards the stellar view of the estuary. Though it may seem that an expanse of glass such as this could hardly be energy efficient, a geothermal pump, underfloor heating and an innovative ventilation system has been installed to help to warm or cool the house. The symmetry and attention to detail of this space is exceptional; from the floors to the ceilings, stunning timberwork lines each surface. The layout of the space is conducive to interaction and sociability for both guests and occupants alike.
Almost every element of this home, both inside and out, has been designed by Iñaki Leite. The chairs and dining room table are made from the same timber evidenced in the home—even the low hung lamp which sits directly above the table! The table in the dining area is almost two and a half metres long; the perfect space to house the very best dinner and cocktail parties.
This modern bedroom is unlike one we've seen before, fashioned 100% from concrete. Although it may seem like an unusual and cold material to design a bedroom with, we can assure you that the feeling inside is anything but. The mechanical ventilation system ensures a warm stay, thanks to the contact between the shooting smoke of the chimney and the ventilation duct, which takes the high temperature of the tube and distributes it throughout the home.
The kitchen too, is full of modern lines and bold contemporary design. Built also from wood, it was made entirely by the artisans and carpenters in the area—yet another factor that connects this home to its environment. You can see a mixture of both the bedroom and living room in this space, through the use of concrete and timber elements.
One of the most spectacular aspects of this home is the bathroom. Finished from Oak, the white of the bathtub and toilet are provided with a stunning contrast from the almost caramel warmth of the timber. Every aspect of this bathroom is guaranteed to make us relax in a warm and inviting atmosphere. The notion of floor to ceiling tiles, which are almost always found in bathrooms, have been removed, creating an almost spa like experience for the occupants. Frosted glass walls give us the feeling that we're up in the clouds, creating one of the most unique bathroom experiences we've ever seen.
As night falls upon us, we are treated to a view of the exterior from the streetfacing façade. The designer of the home currently resides in London, and rents out the house all year round to guests. This is a particularly wonderful city escape for those who like gastronomy and culture, and even better for those who appreciate design. It comes as no surprise that Dezanove House is listed as one of the best properties in Spain and Portugal by The Sunday Times magazine.
If you can't get the idea of summer holidays off your mind, check out the following ideabook: European holiday escapes