Although the prolific architectural studio Olson Kundig has an impressive portfolio of US-based projects, perhaps it's the studio's overseas projects that continue to make this architectural team one of the most beloved in the architectural field. The stunning minimalist design of Studio Sitges, located on the northeast Spanish coast, is just one example of the architect's talent for transforming a multitude of materials into a highly sophisticated and succinct home.
The exterior of the three-story Studio Sitges is a veritable hodgepodge of industrial materials that include pre-weathered Corten steel and raw, hand-treated concrete. The board-formed concrete walls and other exterior materials were handcrafted, a signature feature of architect Tom Kundig, a partner in the Seattle-based firm. Through the help of local craftsman, Kundig roughs up industrial materials by hand in order to give the entire structure a rustic, textured look. Using this technique, the exterior of the Spanish home is a unique mix of steel, concrete and large clerestory windows installed between timber framework. The large front entrance brings the look together with a large overhang of Corten steel covering an immense pivoting door made of the same material.
Studio Sitges is both a family home and a photography studio. Therefore, the interior space had to provide for both the family living and entertainment needs as well as various artistic functions. Although the studio home boasts an unabashedly bold exterior, the expansive interior of the home is a calm, minimalist haven illuminated with natural light provided by the ever-present Spanish sun.
The basement houses the garage and two professional photography studios, accessible by a large ramp for equipment delivery and storage. A glass elevator grants access to the two stories above the studios. The living and dining areas are found on the first floor, which leads out into a beautiful garden area and pool in the back of the home. A number of sliding and pivot doors around the home blend the interior living space with the peaceful surrounding environment found outdoors. The master bedroom is located on the top floor and is cantilevered over the garden below. An interior bridge connects the master to the remaining three bedrooms that open out to the roof top terrace that offer beautiful views of the Mediterranean.
Photographs by Nikolas Koenig