In Pezo Von Ellrichshausen’s monolithic mountain retreat in northern Spain, a platform for outdoor living floats above a concrete podium.
Sofia von Ellrichshausen and Mauricio Pezo
At first glance, the idiosyncratic form of Solo House bears a striking similarity to John Lautner’s 1960 octagonal Chemosphere. In fact, the Chilean architecture duo of Sofia von Ellrichshausen and Mauricio Pezo was not even familiar with that iconic house—perched on a California hillside atop a concrete pedestal—when designing their top-heavy concrete structure.
Sliding floor-to-ceiling glass walls enclose the rooms but open completely, turning sleeping and dining areas into stately verandas. By contrast, one enters the house through the 31-square-foot cavelike podium, ascending a circular staircase to the elevated courtyard—the only living space enclosed by four walls, though it is open to the sky. At its center is a swimming pool—in essence, a giant void at the heart of the monolith.
The house “is about the elusive relationship between interior and exterior,” says von Ellrichshausen. She and Pezo were given carte blanche for the design, the first of a dozen planned to be built on a 120-acre site. Other architects involved in this house project (initiated by developer and curator Christian Bourdais) include Sou Fujimoto, Johnston Marklee, and Studio Mumbai.
Exterior finishing materials: Exposed concrete, glass
Interior finishing materials: