The Sunflower House has all the geographical privileges: being located in the border within the water of the Mediterranean sea and the hard rock of the Costa Brava, in the middle of the wild nature of Cabo de Creus and the urban settlement of El Port de la Selva, a small fisherman village in the border of France and Spain that generates an exceptional and rich wildlife, both in the coast and in the water. All these magnificent landscapes engulf the house and frame different and specific views.
But the house was never with some slight problems. Mel and Geoff had always wanted a house facing the Mediterranean sea, but they have never thought that their closeness to the sea will directly expose them to one of the strongest winds in the peninsula and will hide them from any direct sun radiation. Thus, the project of reinforcing the house’s relation to the sea while attracting the sun began.
The house has an impressive frontal view—from France to the Natural Park of the Cabe de Creus, the immense open sea before it, the rocks, and an ever-changing sky that constantly changes in texture due to the wind.
The panoramic view must be broken down into many different conditions. The house must be sectioned and articulated so that each part of the house is positioned frontally to its diverse landscape conditions. The project adds small units that each frame a differentiated view and is within the transition from one unit to the other. It is also in the addition of those units where a major open space is generated, the central space of the house.
The entire house itself is a big solar collector, bringing light and heat into the house like a giant sunflower. The rear patio allows the sun to radiate into the living room and heat the whole house up. The patio also serves as a shield from the Tramuntana (the strong winds that regularly hits the place). It also serves as an outdoor living area. It also has two major glazing that enable the view from the sea from this back patio.
Each of the cubes in the house is defined through solid continuous perimeter that is related to the outdoors. The arrangement of the individual spaces generates an ensemble that opens to the views while protecting itself from prying eyes of neighbors. The interior of the house is continuous that no matter which side of the house one is located, he will feel closely related to its immediate milieu.
Because of the adverse conditions of the area, all the materials used in the construction have to be strong enough to withstand the strongest of winds, from the structure to the outdoor finishes of the walls, just like the glazing, which incorporates thickness and technology typically used for skyscrapers.