This beautiful countryside cottage is a retreat located within the municipality of Fontanars, Spain. Situated on the outskirts of the local village and surrounded by acres of abundant vegetation, from pine forests to grapevine fields. Because of its location, this project seeks maximum environmental and landscape integration in order to work with the land and not against it.
Ramon Esteve developed this cottage by taking the idea of a traditional, rural house and weaving in the concept of a grander space. The pitched roof outlines the edge of the building, defining it with a frame of concrete throughout the project. In fact, when it comes to materials, you’ll find that Esteves was very decisive in only using a handful. The cottage comprises two monolithic structures formed by two large blocks made of white concrete, which are then cut across by structural surfaces made of thermally modified pine wood.
The opening to the space is through a path surrounded by lush olive trees. When peering out behind the house, even more foliage is utilised, including cypresses, poplars, and pine trees. The manicured greenery that surrounds this home is as much a part of the interior as it is the exterior, creating an indoor-outdoor living experience. Upon entering, the main space is dominated by a giant fireplace open to each room. The view from the inside is framed by the pine wood surfaces that cross the central area. Being surrounded by nature in this way most definitely promotes a strong sense of well-being and inspires a slow lifestyle that feels more purposeful. The design of this cottage is crafted in such a way that you feel this the moment you walk onto the property.
The Living Space
An expansive porch situated at the end of the house, completes the home. It connects a dual landscape in the lounge area, showcasing views of the pine forest on one side and, on the other side, a thriving vineyard. Wooden panels cover the walls, and pinewood furniture is specifically designed for this project, creating an impactful cohesiveness that allows you to place greater focus on inner thoughts and the nature that surrounds you. It is within such a home that you can truly admire the unique patterns found within the grains of wood. The wooden panelling creates a classically Japandi vibe because of the natural materials and simple designs. As a result, more and more consumers look toward eco-friendly aesthetics.
With a home that so beautifully frames the lands around it, it only makes sense that the cottage follows the guidelines for a passive house closely. Environmentally, it takes advantage of renewable energy through the use of solar panels and through collection and storage of drinkable rainwater. The materials used and thermal insulation of rock wool provide excellent energy and temperature regulating abilities throughout the seasons, keeping the space warm in winter and cool come the summer heat waves. Beyond that, the lighting within the property is energy efficient thanks to a control system that optimises the use of natural light. With all the pinewood features in the property and the aluminium used for the sink and a few doorways, much of the house could be recycled come the time, and is an admirable step towards a life lived sustainably.
“Environmentally, it follows the guidelines for a passive house. Appropriate means are available to take advantage of renewable energy through the use of panels of solar energy, energy supply from biomass or collecting and storing drinkable rainwater.” Ramón Esteve