LUXURYCULTURE.COM - Torres' Architectural Oeuvre


Joaquin Torres' experimental home offered the Spanish architect a unique chance to push the frontiers of modern architecture.

Blending art with architecture, Joaquin Torre's Spanish home is a fascinating exploration of shape and form.

Joaquin Torres' definition of luxury:
As Frank Lloyd Wright said: "Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities."

If luxury were...
An object
A private art collection.

A person
A person without needs.

A place
Any building by Mies van der Rohe.

A moment
At dusk or dawn.

Following the topography of its surroundings, Joaquin Torres' family home rises seamlessly from the Spanish soil. This was indeed part of the inspiration behind the architect's personal project. When the Madrid-based architect began what is typically the most challenging project for any architect – to design their own home – his main objectives were to push the ideas and technologies that his studio A-Cero had explored in previous projects as far as possible, while creating a family home that would reflect his and his wife's passion for art. "With this design we wanted to bring together two apparently opposite principles: building a structure with inherent artistic values, but also a house that was strongly related to its context. The use of the textured dark concrete creates a tectonic look for the building, that sometimes seems to emerge from the soil, just like a cliff." He explains. Influenced by the organic silhouettes of its carefully cultivated verdant surroundings, the architecture is dominated by sweeping curves that harmonize with the landscape, without sacrificing the glamour of the modernist inspired space.

Laid out over three levels, the house follows a horizontal footprint, offering a more comfortable, ergonomic living space while reinforcing the connection between nature and architecture. The top floor is dominated by the studio of the architect's wife, artist Mercedes Rodriguez. Long, expansive windows offer an abundance of natural light and inspiring views. Rodriguez' work dominates the family's home, "Mercedes' paintings are always a source of inspiration, the rest is a collection that I have been gathering during the years" notes the architect, which includes José Maria Sicilia, Bill Viola and Miquel Barcelo. "The collection has been gathered personally by me. I am very proud of this small group of art pieces and enjoy them a lot when I spend time at home." T
orres cites Donald Judd, David Nash, Eduardo Chillida and Richard Serra as some of the many favorites that continue to influence and inspire him.

The lower level incorporates the main living and service areas. The basement is dedicated to more leisurely activities, such as a games room, gym and projection room in which the couple enjoy free time with their son. Light plays a pivotal role throughout the home. Through the use of sophisticated new technologies and contemporary solutions, such as LED and precise remote dimmer settings, Torres has created an interior that remains dramatic by day and night. "We do a lot of work with 3D models in the studio, carefully designing the lighting and the materials we use, and studying the building's appearance at different times of the day. Human perception can vary a lot, depending on whether it's day or night, so we always design our projects with both in mind." He explains. The holistic feel of the home is possibly the most successful aspect of Torres' 18-month project "I'm very proud of the atmosphere of the house, it's not something that you can quantify, but an experience."

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