The peace inspired by the dehesas (pasture fields under trees) of the north of the province of Huelva was the first reason why arteventura chose this location. The studios occupy the central part of a larger cultural complex structured around the road that serves as backbone of the domain. Its purpose is to serve as a refuge for artists who, coming from different parts of Europe, practice creative retreats immersed in nature.
With this starting premise the studios had to balance between two apparently opposing functions: the protection of the creative individuality and the envelopment within the character of the place. This delicate equilibrium is pursued starting with the very distribution of the studios. Instead of grouping them together, they preserve an autonomous character, seeking a subtle interchange of looks. Certainly a principle of variable autonomy applies here.
On the one hand, the buildings are located just where the more pronounced slopes begin and the orientation is decidedly centrifugal. The studios, keeping a clear relation of continuity, look towards the surrounding landscape, seeking the deep views of the valley. Far from formalistic gestures, the cantilevered terraces respond to the intimacy-appropriation balance, creating an intermediate domain that stretches from the protected interior to the vast exterior. It abounds in the landscape focus that internally the design is elementary, monastic if you will, reducing the mobile elements to their least necessary expression.
But, at the same time, it would be unfair to outline each studio as a solipsistic eye tube. The longitudinal lecture is superimposed on a transversal one, both functional and morphological. The kitchen and bathroom are located next to the entrance, where another terrace is open to the landscape, without mediating elements. It is here where the sought encounter occurs. The direct connection to the kitchen, links it to relational activities, therefore, allowing the artist the necessary distance to his/her work, in contact with others and the dehesa, in order to return to it reinvigorated.
The relationship with the environment is manifested at all levels. From the morphological point of view the studios are partially under the terrain level, with just the roof barely protruding at some points. The objective is to achieve a flat profile, close to the ground. This, together with the choice of earth tones, obtained with lime mortar, and the location of the smaller front towards the visual basin minimize the global impact of the buildings.
Likewise, the impact that construction and exploitation could cause was considered. As a result, all the facilities of the complex are self-sufficient, the sources of both water and electricity originate at the same site. All this, together with the heating by biomass, annuls greenhouse gas emissions. In terms of passive design, the thermal insulation of the entire building reduces the energy demand. The large window fulfills a warming effect in winter, but is protected by the large cantilever in summer. Cross ventilation is guaranteed as well. From a constructive point of view, the choice of the double wall with intermediate insulation, reduced the contribution of materials to a location with an abrupt access.