Skip to main content

A-cero - Santander House


Santander House

A-cero, have recently received great press and interest in their Dubai Tower project, but they also produce fantastic, single family, residential designs. In fact it was difficult to choose a project to lead with! Here is their Santander house.
The house is located on a skewed rectangular plot, with a gradient of around 1 in 3 and covering 2,204m2. The plot is bordered on the south by the access road, to the north and east by other properties and the west by a pedestrian pathway.

The focus of the design was to maximise views of the river Miera to the South. The slope of the ground, usually problematic in construction, became an asset allowing them to set the house into the hillside. With a natural barrier at the rear, the front of the house opens up to the views and Southern sun. The project evolves, embracing the surroundings via a set of 3 very simple rectangular volumes, a large longitudinal central core from which two others protrude, angled slightly to the west and setting sun, one at ground level and the second, housing the master bedroom upstairs.

At the other end of this volume, downstairs (1m lower) is the garage, laundry, pantry and storage. Between these two is the intersection with the forward facing wing, which contains 2 bathrooms, kitchen, office and games room that opens out onto the patio. Upstairs are 2 kids bedrooms and a bathroom. The second volume extending out into the bay is the master bedroom with its en-suite and walk in wardrobe. The en-suite has its own low level landscape window, allowing views out across the bay and the master bedroom features a huge inclined picture window for enjoying the views whilst dry. The layout allows for all the main living areas to receive direct sunlight while separating the living areas from the sleeping quarters upstairs.

The interior was laid out open plan, in a very functional manner, divided at the intersections of the volumes. The main horizontal volume contains to the east: the staircase connecting the two floors, the living room, dining room and a small library with home cinema. These rooms, although open plan, are partitioned by white hanging walls to waist height, yet with their narrow profile the room appears open plan from outdoors.

Outside, landscaping is minimal yet stylish, with under bench lighting and lineal concrete forms framing the various areas. As the landscape rolls across the plot it creates natural courtyards on the ground level and a convenient second floor exit from the kids wing balcony.

The building has been covered with a skin of Naturvex (fibreboard cement panelling) in anthracite gray and raw concrete. An interesting choice that really accentuates the crisp lines of the structure, with the large spec panels and dimensions giving it a feeling of established solidity. In contrast, the oblique cut to the front of the master bedroom, places the property ahead in today's modern residential design.

More fantastic designs and 360 degree graphics of their houses can be found at

Location: Santander, Cantabria (Spain)
Built surface: 483,52 m2
Date built: Mar 2006

via: A-cero Estudio de arquitectura y urbanismo Many thanks to Ignacio and Carmen


Blackbird said…
Really liking the use of 2 different colours for the exterior.
That stone bath is gorgeous, too.
Luwalira said…
What I house. I just found this blog and I'm already in love with it.
Anonymous said…
hi there, could anyone tell me whether the house construction is steel-framed as well as concrete?

Great designs! I like it. It just need some interior design to add more color to the house. I just wonder how much it will cost if I will make the same structure as that. Thanks for sharing.


Popular posts from this blog

Portelet House - BAS MooArc

Guernsey Beach Villa - The Portlet House is one of many fantastic works on Guernsey by BAS MooArc - Minimalist style creating a welcoming beach retreat...more

Well after a huge hiatus, I though I would post this gem to rekindle the spirits as Christmas approaches. After a quick catch up on Facebook Jamie Falla kindly provided me with some floor plans to their Portelet House, overlooking Portelet Harbour - Guernsey.

Conceived as three timber blocks nestled into the hillside allowing views of the surrounding landscape from all principle rooms. The palette of materials blends with the beach setting and mediates between water, earth and sky.

With sea views out to the North - the house faces a battle between light and distractions. Rightly so, large full height glazing faces out to sea from both the living and dining room. These comprising two of three connected timber blocks. Angled skylights and clerestory windows ensure that the hallways and bedrooms are also doused in daylight.

The Dini…

Lund Hagem - Cabin Ameln

Lund Hagem, based out of Norway have a fantastic site, and collection of baches. Cabin Ameln, a providing sheltered BBQ retreat, and views out across the fjord. Contour hugging hunkered in design, connects with the site while minimalist layout and crisp finishes set it apart from your ordinary weekend retreat.
Location: Østerøya, Sandefjord, Norway
Size: 90 m2
Completed: 2009
The building sits in sloping terrain in close proximity to the sea. It has been designed to create favourable, screened outdoor areas. Previous buildings (4 in total) have been demolished and replaced with one new building that collects all functions under one roof.
The L-shaped layout uses steps to follow the terrain so that the building can utilise existing vegetation and trees to avoid visibility from the sea. This layout creates one upper and one lower outdoor area/patio. The upper patio has been duly
screened from the seafront, but offers views through the building due to glass walls.

I think I've found my Nor…

Steven Holl | Planar House

Steven HollPlanar HouseDesert Tilt Up Wonder - This Steven Holl designed residence in Paradise Valley, AZ, USA, uses raw Concrete and Corten Steel to create a great prefabricated home and art gallery for it's owner.
Designed to house a contemporary art collection, internally, the house sets out to be a blank canvas, not to distract from the works held within.

The street façade blends into the desert greys, with the ageing steel fitting in perfectly.

Flourishes on the exterior are limited to the courtyard from where a ramp leads to a rooftop sculpture garden - a place of silence and reflection.

The rear, with overhands for shading, is the largest expanse of light giving glass. These sliding openings taking in views to the nearby Camelback Mountain.

The house is broken up into three functional areas. The garage and master bedroom, together with the library form the quiet zone at front of the house. To the rear are the dining and kitchen areas, located to soak up the views …