Gallery: Emilio Ambasz’s Temple-Like Casa de Retiro Espiritual Rises fr...

Emilio Ambasz's iconic house just outside of Cordoba, Spain, is a stunning example of modern architecture infused with sustainable design principles. Constructed in 1975, the Casa de Retiro Espiritual overlooks a lake and is sited on a once treeless outcrop of land, which today is populated with olive trees. Acknowledged as a “forerunner of green architecture”, Ambasz brought his preoccupation of fusing architecture with nature into the design of this home, and rather than building atop the land, the architect decided to dig deep into the earth. What Ambasz created was a spectacular bermed structure that takes advantage of natural cooling and insulation, but still maximizes natural light despite being built below ground. While the home is conscious of its surroundings, this design is not meant to shrink away from sight; the entrance to the home is marked by two tall, angled, white walls that create a near numinous presence on the serene land.

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