This project is a collaboration between XTEN Architecture + Extudio + Losada Garcia Arquitectos
La Moraleja Villa is a single family residence for art collectors and their four children. The house is located on a relatively flat site characterized by hundreds of existing oak trees. The area is tremendously arid and hot in summer, an environmental condition that led to a design that uses both the buildings orientation on the site and cantilevered masses to protect the interiors from the sun, while simultaneously opening the house to light, air and the surrounding landscape. A series of open and closed volumes organize the house, framing outdoor sculptures, indoor paintings and the landscape. The spaces created by these stacking and interlocking volumes vary in scale and orientation on the site, creating a series of pavilions, calibrated to create a dynamic dialogue between the art, architecture and landscape. The 2-acre property is kite shaped. The strategy for the placement of the house was to locate the building on the cross axis of the lot allowing for maximized vistas of the grounds. The main double height living space is located at the center of the property and building. Upon arrival, you transverse the stone paved entry court which leads you past a large reflecting pool with sculpture to the main entrance. The entry is under a projecting porte cochere. Once you enter the house you step into the first double story atrium which houses another sculpture from the owners’ collection. A gallery leads to the main living space. This indoor-outdoor double height space opens to the pool to the South and to views over the park-like ground to the North. The views in both cardinal directions are completely open, framing large sculptures set in the garden. Dark tile lines the pool, which reflects a 10-foot tall sculpture to the South. A study, guest suites and services anchor this large open space to the East. The family/ media room, a spacious kitchen and covered outdoor dining area frame the space to the West. This organization allowed for additional protection from the sun for the living and entertaining areas. All family bedrooms are located on the upper floor. An Ipe wood bridge cuts through the double height living room and connects the master suite to the children’s wing of the second floor. The exterior and interior of the two-story house is clad with local stone. A dark stone was chosen for the lower volumes of the house. In the two double height spaces, you also experience the lighter colored stone that was selected to line the upper level. It was critical to the design to have very few material transitions from interior to exterior allowing for a seamless indoor/ outdoor experience. Another tile lined lap pool with spa, a ten-car garage, services and staff rooms complete the subterranean basement level.