Francisco Álvarez, The Raws
Mario Bolivar studio de Arquitectura
The project, carried out by Mexican practice Bolivar Arquitectos, successfully combines dramatic impact with restrained elegance. The building almost seems to be shaped by opposing forces: a rational, contemporary layout with a regular, strictly orthogonal elevation facing onto the golf courses, and an almost raw energy that emerges from the jagged forms of the other façades at the top of the volume, enabling it to blend in perfectly with the surrounding rocky landscape. Architect Mario Bolivar explains: “The façade, clad with almost 1200 square metres of quartzite-effect porcelain tiles, has a jagged silhouette that mimics the topography of the surrounding mountains. The choice of a single material, in this case Q-Stone Opus grey natural tiles from Provenza, allowed us to keep the house almost entirely monochromatic.” As a result, the building has a monolithic image but with dissolving lines that create an appealing unfinished look and demonstrate the versatility of ceramic tile, which despite its two-dimensional nature is capable of covering multifaceted surfaces and emphasising complex volumes.
“The interior design reflects the open feel of the house, with its uncluttered, airy spaces on the first floor where the public areas are located. With this in mind, we chose a neutral colour palette in beige and light grey tones to match the colour of the exterior envelope,” continues the architect.
The natural light flooding into the house through large windows, the double-height rooms, the fluid transitions from one room to another, the bright colours and the minimalist furnishings are all factors that contribute to the sense of spaciousness of the home. The house extends over three levels connected by a stunning spiral staircase. The basement houses the garage, gym, sauna and laundry room. The ground floor comprises the living and dining room along with a bar area, kitchen, study and terraces with relaxation areas overlooking the rectangular swimming pool. The first floor has five bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and a media and entertainment room.
Ceramic tiles also enjoy pride of place in the interiors and convey an image of exclusive luxury. The floors and large sections of walls in the common areas on all three levels are clad with large porcelain tiles (160×120 cm) with a polished finish from the I Marmi di Rex collection, while the bathrooms and some of the bedrooms feature tiles from the Stones&More 2.0 series from Florim’s Casa dolce casa-Casamood brand, chosen in the Stone Burl Gray glossy natural stone effect version. Q-Stone Opus porcelain tile designed for outdoor applications is used on the terraces and on the interior and exterior walls of the highly original, elliptically-shaped ground floor guest bathroom.
This project is clearly an outstanding showcase for Italian ceramic tiles. Architect Mario Bolivar agrees: “Italian tiles play an important role in our projects. Out of the many options available on the market, they are simply the best in terms of design and their realistic reproduction of the look of marble or stone. Carrara marble-effect tiles are a perfect example. I could find over fifty different types on the market, but only Italian tiles give you the best possible appearance. Moreover, the fact that they meet all European standards guarantees outstanding results during the construction process.”