Neolith 360° Specified Through Luxury Spanish Beachside Villa
Pioneering Sintered Stone brand, Neolith, has been specified through a luxurious beachside villa in Cadiz, Spain.
Simple geometric shapes and patterns have long fascinated Basilio Inglesias Lobatón, one of Spain’s most prominent and celebrated architects. Over the last decade his practice, Bia Arquitectes, has become synonymous with the design of cool and contemporary homes. Often, these are for high-spec villas, built using the very best, locally sourced materials.
One of his latest and most ambitious projects was for a sophisticated beachside retreat, located on the southern coast of Spain in El Puerto de Santa Maria, near Cadiz, one of the country’s most exclusive and sought after areas for luxury real estate.
Looking to reflect, and enhance, the vernacular of this sophisticated, sun-drenched region, he embraced his preference for clean lines and unfussy minimalism.
Conceptually, he wanted to create a space in which the owner could make their mark rather than allowing the architect to dictate it for them. The house would act as a blank canvas which could adapt to the aesthetic and artistic preference of whoever lived there.
Lobatón decided to design Casa Cadiz as a house which eschewed gratuitous and unnecessary flourishes, yet still stood out from other properties in the area. His idiosyncratic, restrained approach led him to explore ways in which simple, interlocking shapes could be combined to create a robust and appealing structure.
The use of curves within the design was reduced to a minimum, with the architect instead focusing on squares and cuboids to realise his vision. This is yet another example of his drive to minimise visual complexity, demonstrating beauty in simplicity.
Always thinking holistically, Lobatón’s preference for architectural lucidity was not solely limited to the building’s design, extending to the choice of materials used.
Aside from visual appeal, he wanted natural and hard-wearing components, both sustainable and able to withstand the areas coastal weather patterns. Nowhere was this more important than the surfaces specified across Casa Cadiz’s exteriors and interiors.
Having considered many different options, he alighted on Neolith®, on the recommendation of a colleague who had worked with the brand on a previous project.
Lobatón said, “I wanted to specify surfaces which reflected my vision for the property, something seemingly simple but with underlying complexity. Having considered several different materials, I found many to lack at least one essential quality I was looking for. Then Neolith was suggested to me.”
He continues, “What I love about Neolith is it’s a 360° surface, combining visual beauty, high performance and low maintenance whilst also delivering on other important requirements like sustainability, hygiene and safety. Furthermore, the consistency and definition of the decoration meant I was able to achieve the ‘blank canvas’ effect I was looking for both inside and out. When I first saw the slabs, at Stone Sur’s showroom, I was immediately captivated by the brilliance of the Arctic White model and the intense darkness of Basalt Black. Right then, I knew I had to apply it throughout the property.”
Cool and Contemporary
There’s no doubt the villa has been designed to deliver serious visual impact, particularly as the whole of the exterior is clad in Arctic White. On a clear, sunny day the property stands out to the observer, a dazzling home prominent against an azure sky.
Casa Cadiz possesses attractive confidence within its architecture. Aside from the sharp angles of the building’s structure, some of the supports and window frames have been clad in Basalt Black, providing further definition, and visual contrast.
Building on the sculptural theme, Lobatón wanted to playfully reference the pedestals on which many classical statues are set, giving Casa Cadiz an iconic feel.
As such, he specified Iron Frost for the interior and exterior flooring, which surrounds the house. The use of one pattern inside and out, met the architect’s overall, 360° vision for Casa Cadiz, whilst also creating the illusion that the villa is raised on a plinth, adding to its prestige.
Although Lobatón was keen to deliver a minimalist building, he had to ensure the property possessed a unique character. Merely using one material to surface the whole home ran the risk of creating a cold, clinical and impersonal atmosphere.
As such he was keen to incorporate occasional points of visual interest, much like pictures and installations in a modern art gallery, complement the monochromatic space without dominating it.
Keen as he was to demonstrate his creativity, he needed to ensure any embellishments, however modest, did not impinge on the decorative tastes and preference of the client or detract from the intentionally spare aesthetic.
Muted Beton, an interpretation of poured concrete was specified in the bedrooms for the vanity tops and a statement wall, with urban Iron Grey used in the bathrooms for wall cladding, vanities and shower cubicles.
One of the most impressive features of the property is a cantilevered staircase in Iron Corten, which when view against pained white walls on one side and clear glass panelling on the other, creates the illusion each step is floating in mid-air.
On the ground floor, in the spacious living room, a monolithic fireplace in Basalt Black immediately draws the eye, contrasting against the combination of white walls and floor-to-ceiling windows which surround the space.
This carefully curated use of Neolith deftly adds character to Casa Cadiz’s interiors without feeling superfluous.
Cas Cadiz is the perfect example of ‘less is more’. Lobatón’s decision to use a minimal amount of colours, shades and tones has created a home which can flex to the evolving style and tastes of the client.
Yet, the overall design of the structure, and the occasional, subtle use of various Neolith patterns, in addition to the neutral Arctic White and Iron Frost, give the property a unique character. This allows Casa Cadiz to stand out of a crowd of neighbouring luxury properties.
Commenting on the finished project, Lobatón says, “Casa Cadiz is a synthesis of my design philosophy, balancing simplicity and complexity to create something much more than initially meets the eye. This is why Neolith proved the perfect partner, it looks identical to the material it’s designed to mimic yet, beneath the surface, it delivers so much more.
“Its composition, available formats and relatively lightweight made it easy to work with. From a fabrication perspective, I was particularly impressed by the seamlessness of the joins and ability to create sharp angles which enhance Casa Cadiz’s visual impact. I will definitely be working with Neolith again on future projects”
All Neolith surfaces are 100% natural and manufactured in a carbon neutral environment. The material appropriate for any professional or residential surfacing application. It is also one of the safest and most hygienic materials available, without compromising on performance and visual appeal.
Visit Neolith online to find out about their latest range of patterns, finishes, formats and thicknesses.
- Hardware Décorative