Living ‘close to the earth’ can mean many things — living in harmony with nature, living in touch with natural processes, or in the case of Casa de los Pinos (House Among the Pines), living on the top of a mountain, smack in the middle of a stand of breathtaking pine. But that is just the beginning of this terrific project by architectural firm XPIRAL. The house showcases a host of sustainable features including the use of rocks from the site for stone-work, vegetation from the grounds remade into construction material, and timber on the site used in the pathways. And to top it all off, the architects replanted the same number of trees on the property that it took to clear the building site!
Located in El Esparragal, Murcia, Spain, Casa de los Pinos came together as a collaboration between XPIRAL lead architect Javier Peña Galiano and Susana Velasco, Malte Eglinger, Lola Jimenez, Luis Fernando Perona and Miguel Ángel Cárceles. The team went to great lengths to create a full-time residence sensitive to both the local site and our global ecology.
Envisioned as an “interface between domenstic life and the land”, Casa de los Pinos is set deep into the mountain and features a grassy inner courtyard surrounded by uniterrupted glass walls that allow a radical openness to nature without compromising privacy. The materiality of the project is apparent everywhere; from the natural materials gathered from the site and used in the house, to the fully exposed industrial materials that make up the bulk of the project like concrete, thermo-clay and the steel cover that covers the home like a veil.
In terms of high-tech building features, Casa de los Pinos makes liberal use of engineered Robertson sandwich panels, “heat mirror” glazing and A.S.K. grill equipped windows mitigate the effects of the local climate. We love the combination of world-class architecture and sustainable design used in Casa de los Pinos. Kudos to the XPIRAL team and everyone involved – we can’t wait to see what they come up with next!