A studio called Cloud9 designed a suburban house of the future—it also happens to be sustainable. The villa is situated a little over an hour outside of Barcelona in Llers ((hometown of everyone’s favorite mustachioed surrealist, Salvador Dali), in an alien cube set within a garden courtyard, quietly plotting the next design revolution.
The area reads like a textbook Mediterranean suburb and feels oddly similar to California’s faux-Mediterranean enclaves—from the gleaming new terra-cotta tiles and white stucco walls down to the perfectly manicured lawns, swimming pools, nosy neighbors, and stringent normativa.
The Villa Bio is trapped in a contextual oxymoron—given the neighbors, it’s utterly out of place, but one look at the natural surroundings tells you which house fits right in.
The sloping coiled snake of a plan, with underground garage and a 50-foot cantilevered section, is no small feat of engineering. The result is economical, beautiful, and environmental. The Villa Bio is a firework of astute solutions that exemplify what the sustainable suburban home of tomorrow can be today.
Cloud9 are interested in the performative dimension of nature—how it grows, lives, and transforms. They strive to cultivate this organic dimension. Indeed, the Villa Bio’s shape grew directly out of the land, echoing the sloping hillside forest that sits beyond the property line—and honoring the client’s request for a home without stairs to accommodate his two young children and disabled father.
The slope is re-created for the rising section that leads back to the front of the home (now at an elevation of almost ten feet). Step out onto the hydroponic rooftop garden and the sloping spiral plan takes one more elongated spin, terminating atop the master bedroom.
The aromatic garden is one of the home’s prime sustainable features—absorbing excess runoff and protecting the house from the tramontane, a strong wind that blows in the region.
Entering the unfurling inner space, one is struck by the harmony of the whole. Light pours in through large windowpanes at the front and the back of the building. Light amplifiers in the ceiling are equipped with energy-saving sensors that reproduce the chromaticity of daylight. This unique harmony gives birth to buildings that are bold and livable and, above all else, fuse effortlessly with their environment.