Project: Villa Slow
Architects: Laura Alvarez Architecture
Location: Valle del Miera, Cantabria, Spain
Area: 1,722 sqft
Photographs by: David Montero
Villa Slow by Laura Alvarez Architecture
Villa Slow is a contemporary holiday rental retreat in Spain’s Cantabria community. It was designed by Laura Alvarez Architecture with its design typology based on the traditional construction of the ‘peasant cabin’ in the area.
Unlike the traditional cabins, Villa Slow has a contemporary twist and is placed on top of a little south-facing hill that grants its inhabitants with impressive views towards the valley and mountain.
“I grew up in the North of Spain not so far away from Villa Slow. I have really good memories of me and my family enjoying nature. This region of Spain has many of the things I always look for when I go on holidays: Mountains, sea, natural parks, hiking, quietness, culture and rich gastronomy. But I always felt I missed here a nice place to stay… a place where you can be warm when it is cold outside and be fully connected to the outside when the sun shines. So I thought: If I cannot find it, there will also be many people not able to find it too….Let’s design and build a beautiful place and share it with more people!… Being myself an architect, it was an opportunity I could just not let go…And this is how it all started.”
– Laura Alvarez
Villa Slow is designed and built with extreme mindfulness and care for detail. The house is very respectful with the environment. Its design is based on the traditional typology of a Pasiego House (Cabana Pasiega) but with a contemporary twist. The rough exterior stone walls and roofs contrast with the delicate interior wooden structure and details. Two big panoramic windows in the living room facing opposite directions create a beautiful scenography of mountains, clouds, and trees. The two rooms with their generous height are designed to allow different arrangements: just a couple, couple with children, friends, etc. Each room has its own bathroom fully equipped, barrier-free.
Villa Slow is situated in a very special natural area well known for its spring water formation. The water of Villa Slow comes from its own spring.
A PASSIVE HOME
Villa Slow pays extreme attention to sustainability. Villa Slow is a passive house. It is provided with a heat pump, under floor heating and high quality insulation and windows for a minimum heat loss. All electronic appliances are A+++ and all lightning based on LED technology. The high performance glass warms up the interior in the winter and the big wooden shutters protect the summer from heat gain. All materials used to build Villa Slow are reused from the old stone shed or come from the area of Cantabria.
–Laura Alvarez Architecture
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