White Light: 17 Modern Residences Across the Iberian Peninsula

These bold, bright residences prioritize the framing of views and simplicity of form, standing in stark contrast to their surroundings.

Eric Baldwin Eric Baldwin

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Known for its breathtaking landscapes and rich cultures, the Iberian Peninsula is also home to some of the world’s most incredible residential designs. From luxurious villas to quiet retreats, the diverse housing markets of Spain and Portugal embody the region’s varied climate and vernacular building history. Often created as either extravagant expressions or straightforward, orthogonal volumes with clean lines, modern residences in both countries explore clear transitions and how they define interior and exterior space.

The following projects explore concrete and white stucco designs with a variety of scales and locations across the Iberian Peninsula. Showcasing bold, bright residences that prioritize the framing of views and simplicity of form, the designs stand in stark contrast to their surroundings. Engaging their sites and the opportunities they present, these homes articulate newfound relationships between materials, space and enclosure.

Spanish Residences

Atrium House by Fran Silvestre Arquitectos, Valencia, Spain

Designed to maximize the perception of spaciousness within an urban area, the Atrium house includes a private space that was carved in the middle of the site. Programmatically, the project was organized along the existing slope to the ravine towards views of the Sierra Calderona.

Moraleja House by DAHL + GHG Architects, Madrid, Spain

Located in a residential zone in Madrid, the Moraleja House embraces nature while establishing privacy. Inspired by a volcano, the project places human activity at its core and connects it to a private garden space.

Casa H by Bojaus, Madrid, Spain

Casa H was created to merge interior and exterior space while maintaining privacy. Formed with large windows that embrace natural daylight, the house takes the form of a pure and simple prism that’s hollowed out by large voids.

Ripollés-Manrique House by Teo Hidalgo Nacher, La Parreta, Spain

Located on an isolated estate near the town of Benicassim, the Ripollés-Manrique House overlooks the Mediterranean. Sited atop a hill in Montornés, the residence emerged as a response to steep slopes and a difficult terrain through a series of transition spaces.

Casa Mossegada / Bitten House by arnau estudi d’arquitectura, Sant Feliu de Pallerols, Spain

Artfully crafted to respond to the surrounding context and landscape, the Casa Mossegada was designed around the nearby river and valley, as well as the distant cliffs. Taking the shape of a minimal concrete cube, the residence was formed as a larger volume that opens up with warm interior voids.

Casa Sardineraby Ramón Esteve Estudio, Xàbia, Spain

Located between El Portixol and Cala Blanca, the Sardinera House overlooks the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean atop a dramatic hillside. Walls were used to compress and expand views, while the larger white concrete volumes were made to link the building to the surrounding landscape.

Los Limoneros by Gus Wüstemann Architects, Marbella, Spain

Los Limoneros is sited within a suburb of private villas next to a golf court. Made with a large outdoor garden and a series of covered outdoor spaces, the residence uses a peripheral wall to create privacy from the neighboring buildings while forming a type of “living room landscape.”

Sunflower House by Cadaval & Solà-Morales, El Port de la Selva, Spain

Located between a small fishing village and the Natural Park of the Cabo de Creus, the Sunflower House was sited overlooking the Mediterranean. Framing where the Pyrenees meet the water, the house embraces the landscape through segmented programmatic units and a continuous perimeter.

House on the Castle Mountainside by Fran Silvestre Arquitectos, Ayora, Spain

Integrating into its environment and respecting its site, this residential design was conceived as a piece placed on the ground, an element joining in the gap. Emerging from the mountainside, the project overlooks above the surrounding building fabric and the Valley of Ayora.

House on Cliffside by Fran Silvestre Arquitectos, Alicante, Spain

Conceptualized as a simple work of architecture that respects the land’s natural contour, this cliffside house rests like a shadow above the Mediterranean. A monolithic, stone-anchored structure was used to generate a horizontal platform above a swimming pool below.

Portuguese Residences

Sugarcubes by MONTENEGRO Architects Ltd., Grândola, Portugal

Located between pine trees, this ensemble of white volumes draws angles toward the sea and the Mediterranean forest. The interior spaces differ at every step with unrepeated geometries that provide a unique circulation experience for the occupants.

CASA 2M by SALWORKS, Azores, Portugal

This white volumetric home has minimal façade openings for privacy, while skylights flood the interior spaces with natural light. On the interior, the cedar wood floors juxtapose with the white walls, making the home feel warmer.

House in Possanco by ARX Arquitectos, Alcácer do Sal, Portugal

The House in Possanco is a unique presence on the Alentejo planes. The whiteness of the simple walls bring out an almost abstract figure against the backdrop of the surrounding environment. The asymmetric roof with beautiful skylights creates a moment of pleasant surprise.

Casa das Preguiçosas by Branco-del Rio, Coimbra, Portugal

While this home has an appearance of a single white block from the street, it is composed of two larger divisions that are connected by a shared courtyard. Simple volumes open up to plans that forge a continuous and fluid connectivity throughout the interior spaces.

3 Houses in Meco by DNSJ.arq (Nuno Simões+ Sérgio Rebelo), Sesimbra, Portugal

This ensemble of houses adapts to the surrounding landscape as white walls vary in height in response to existing trees, creating great views through a system of terraces. Materials for the interior spaces and furniture were carefully chosen to create a warm harmony with the white volumes.

BLS HOUSE by M2 SENOS, Ilhavo, Portugal

The slope and shape of the site allows a small, discrete one-floor volume to be revealed at first glance. The main entrance is covered by the top floor and this composition creates a large balcony that optimizes natural light.

DJ House by [i]da arquitectos, Carcavelos, Portugal

A white rectangular volume is cut away to create a variety of interior and exterior spaces. This creates a dynamic program throughout the home with a play on open, closed, private and public spaces.

Portuguese project descriptions written by Sophia Choi. Architects: Showcase your next project through Architizer and sign up for our inspirational newsletter.

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