Ronda by Nook Architects

Ronda is a Mediterranean residence built in the 1960s in Castelldefels, Spain, which was redesigned in 2021 by Nook Architects.

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In between the Garraf Nature Park and its beach lies a home that, courtesy of the area’s hilly terrain, offers view of the coast and the Mediterranean Sea.

The structure dates to the 1960s and originally contained two floors and a rooftop addition, accessible via an outdoor spiral staircase. The building, whose original shape had been deformed by a series of small additions, was in a general state of disrepair as a result of deficient maintenance, and the pool was poorly connected to the rest of the property, rendering it difficult to use.

The owners wanted to showcase the original construction, modernise it and make it more comfortable from both a functional and energy standpoint. The new programme had to be readjusted, creating more diaphanous spaces and integrating the rooftop addition functionally into the rest of the home. Also essential was the work to enlarge the façade’s openings and open the inside up to the exterior, enhancing the views of the sea.

The entire building was completely remodelled to make it more energy efficient and sustainable. The façades, roofs and terraces were restored to mitigate conditions produced by moisture and enhance the home’s thermal comfort and insulation, reducing its energy consumption in the process. The fixtures were modernised and a new aerothermal HVAC system, equipped with underfloor heating and a heat pump, were installed. While little was done to the home’s overall shape, in effort to get back to its essence, the structure was stripped of all decorative elements and outbuildings. Significant changes were made to the composition of the façades and their openings in order to meet the requirements of the new interior layout and improve the connection with the outside.

The project envisaged a new interior layout, particularly on the first and second floors, which now revolve around a new interior staircase that leads up to the second-floor terrace, home to a new swimming pool which serves as a dividing line yet engages the surrounding landscape. This operation has breathed new life into the rooftop addition, which is now home to the master bedroom. The old swimming pool was modified to regularise the perimeter and improve the connection with the rest of the outdoor spaces.

In terms of materials, the project looked to create bright, neutral and timeless spaces. Stone and earth surfaces were used in combination with bespoke furnishings and natural oak floors in the bedrooms, turning the spotlight on the views of the sea and the exterior surroundings. In effort to blur the boundaries, the same materials were used in the spaces adjacent to the home, particularly the terraces, which serve as an extension to the inside. This idea was further bolstered with a selection of colours that is more in line with the surrounding area and its relationship with the sea. In particular, the combination of green hues and natural wood colours mimics the region’s characteristic pine groves.
The bespoke furnishings, which delimit the interior spaces, are also particularly important in their layout and functionality. The project also included a new colour scheme.

The result of the restoration is a contemporary home in which natural light, the views offered by the immaculate location and the dialogue between the interior, the patios and the exterior take centre stage.

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- by Matt Watts