The Olive Grove House
David Zarzoso

The Olive Grove House

Balzar Arquitectos as Architects

The Olive Grove House

The House in the Olive Grove is an amalgamation of environment, client and architecture. The story of its inhabitants is unusual and strongly connected to the area. Quesa is a small town in the middle of the province of Valencia, originally founded by Spain’s Moorish community. The owners, from Barcelona, spent several summers in the area during their childhood. Returning to the town, they reconnected with its people and its environment, and so the story of the House in the Olive Grove began.

photo_credit David Zarzoso
David Zarzoso
photo_credit David Zarzoso
David Zarzoso

Location

The plot is located on the outskirts of the town and serves as a link between the urban and the rural. It is the last grove of olive trees that can be built upon on the periphery of the municipality, which made it an opportune site for the project.

photo_credit David Zarzoso
David Zarzoso
photo_credit David Zarzoso
David Zarzoso

The project

The ground-floor property blends in perfectly with its surroundings thanks to various architectural resources. Firstly, its three courtyards open up to the skies, the olive trees and also grant privacy. Secondly, a wide verandah, typical of a Mediterranean culture in a warm climate, protects against the heat from the West and functions as a staging post between the inside and the outside. Thirdly, a sweeping longitudinal platform with swimming pool extends out into the olive grove and has spectacular views of the sunset. Lastly, large windows connect the entrance, garden and courtyards with all of the spaces inside the house.

photo_credit David Zarzoso
David Zarzoso

Inner-outer connection
The project is noted for the way it connects the inside with the outside. All of the inside spaces visually connect with the spectacular olive grove that is so characteristic of the region. This generates visuals, connections and a show of light and shadows with the olive grove reigning over the house. 

photo_credit David Zarzoso
David Zarzoso

This connection plays out differently in each room. The day space and the entrance flow directly on from the verandah and the platform, through a large openable glass door. The en-suite bedroom, with its respective bathrooms, connects to the outside through two more-private courtyards.

photo_credit David Zarzoso
David Zarzoso

Water
Water has a strong presence throughout the house. One end of the outdoor pool is semi-circular in shape and partially covered by a vault. It extends into the verandah and out into the olive grove, which acts as the garden of the house. The inside pool with spa, bathroom showers, large windows and outside showers make the house a real experience. Both swimming pools are heated, allowing them to be used year-round.

photo_credit David Zarzoso
David Zarzoso
photo_credit David Zarzoso
David Zarzoso

Materials
What makes the project different are its materials, colours and textures. Terracotta tones predominate on the floors and the façade, blending the building into its environment. Exotic marble such as Iranian Travertine, brass, olive green joinery and water features contrast with each other and fill the space with a unique atmosphere in harmony with the location.

photo_credit David Zarzoso
David Zarzoso
photo_credit David Zarzoso
David Zarzoso

Structure
The house was built upon a steel frame structure. This is an innovative system inspired by the popular ‘Balloon Frame’ type of building used in the United States to construct a cleaner structure more quickly. The material used is galvanised steel profiling, which acts as the load-bearing structure for the house and also supports the façade and the room partitions. Large metal frames were also used to support the 18m-length openings that allow quality light into the day space.

photo_credit David Zarzoso
David Zarzoso
photo_credit David Zarzoso
David Zarzoso

Energy efficiency
Energy efficiency was a priority in the project’s design. The house fulfils the Passive House concept and has low energy requirements. Passive houses have particularly high comfort levels and very low energy consumption. This is mainly achieved by applying environmentally-friendly principles: high-quality windows, sufficient ventilation, insulation, draught exclusion and reduced thermal bridging.

photo_credit David Zarzoso
David Zarzoso

Team:

Architects: Balzar Arquitectos

Project Manager: Fran Arenas

Photography: David Zarzoso  

photo_credit David Zarzoso
David Zarzoso

Materials used:

Furniture: Valoffice

Art: Rafa García 

Sculpture: Canoa Lab 

Steel Frame Structure: Stalart

Caption
Caption
Caption
Caption

Read story in Español

Project Credits
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrand
Steel Frame StructureStalart
FurnitureValoffice
Product Spec Sheet
Steel Frame Structure
by Stalart
Furniture
Project Spotlight
Product Spotlight
News
Design of new CIA Conad HQ by tissellistudioarchitetti resists orthogonality and symmetry
21 Jun 2024 News
Design of new CIA Conad HQ by tissellistudioarchitetti resists orthogonality and symmetry

Italian architectural studio tissellistudioarchitetti has designed the Sidera building as a new head... More

Compelling design for Jadgal School by Daaz engages a rural Iranian village
21 Jun 2024 News
Compelling design for Jadgal School by Daaz engages a rural Iranian village

Located in Seyedbar-Jadgal village in Southern Iran, the Jadgal School by Daaz was commissioned afte... More

Dirk Peters, Cristiana Catino, Javier López and Monica Arango join Archello Awards 2024 jury
21 Jun 2024 Archello Awards
Dirk Peters, Cristiana Catino, Javier López and Monica Arango join Archello Awards 2024 jury

Dirk Peters, Cristiana Catino, Javier López and Monica Arango have been announced as Archello... More

UNStudio completes Munich residential building with versatile plug-in partition and furniture system
20 Jun 2024 News
UNStudio completes Munich residential building with versatile plug-in partition and furniture system

International architecture and design practice UNStudio has recently completed the “Van B&rdqu... More

ZAV Architects leverages the “grandmother’s” circular economy approach in design of Dr. Beski Science Foundation
19 Jun 2024 News
ZAV Architects leverages the “grandmother’s” circular economy approach in design of Dr. Beski Science Foundation

Iranian architectural office ZAV Architects features in Archello’s 25 best architecture firms... More

Hyperboloid Green Ark pavilion forms heart of Meise Botanic Garden greenhouse complex
19 Jun 2024 News
Hyperboloid Green Ark pavilion forms heart of Meise Botanic Garden greenhouse complex

Meise Botanic Garden, one of the world's largest botanical gardens, recently inaugurated the Green A... More

Six Bricolage Houses: An inventive model for urban renewal and housing design in Nantou, Shenzhen
18 Jun 2024 News
Six Bricolage Houses: An inventive model for urban renewal and housing design in Nantou, Shenzhen

ARCity Office embarked on a project that would establish a new typology of “bricolage architec... More

BYRÓ architekti’s charred wood-clad garden pavilion in Prague reimagines the mundane garden shed
17 Jun 2024 News
BYRÓ architekti’s charred wood-clad garden pavilion in Prague reimagines the mundane garden shed

Prague-based BYRÓ architekti has completed a small and contemporary charred wood-clad garden... More