Hiring the right landscape architect in Spain when building a villa from the ground up not only leads to a beautiful outside space, but it’ll also add value to your property.
Choosing to build a home in Spain’s fabulous climate means homeowners can spend time outside most of the year, making the exterior of your villa just as important, if not more so, than the inside.
A good landscape architect will work to make the area outside your villa feel like home from the moment you set foot inside the front gate.
But what exactly is the role of a landscape architect in Spain, how is it different to other countries and what aspects of their work add the most value to your home?
What does a landscape architect in Spain actually do?
The scope of work for a landscape architect in Spain can include large public spaces like parks and plazas, with the objective of enhancing the overall look and environmental health of the area.
But in the context of villa design in Spain, landscape architects work to make the areas outside your home just as welcoming and functional as the house itself.
This job is all the more important when designing an eco-home in Spain, because the architecture might rely on natural elements like trees, bushes, or natural rock formations for energy efficiency and design aesthetics. A landscape architect may need to work hard to restore some of these native features and can tell you which trees are worth nurturing and which might be on their last legs.
Your landscape architect should be involved right from the planning stage to ensure the proper relationship with your building architect and the rest of the team. One of the biggest errors home builders make is not having a clear plan for the landscaping, which often results in unfinished areas and an uneven look, when they should really have a landscape architect overseeing the entire development process.
Landscape architects may use computer-aided design (CAD) software tools for layouts and to find optimal positions for plants and trees in relation to the sunlight.
How might a landscape architect increase the value of your villa in Spain?
A landscape architect who properly designs the outside space to work in harmony with the building and the natural environment can add as much as 15% to the property value.
Paying special attention to landscaping increases your property’s “curb appeal”, meaning it delivers the wow factor before anyone has even set foot inside.
In fact, hiring a great landscape architect in Spain can be so impactful to your home’s value, you might want to dedicate as much as 10% of your overall budget to it.
The proper placement of trees and plants can actually lower energy bills by insulating your home against the elements. Over time, the maturing landscape will only increase in value as trees grow in size and shrubberies flourish to become a habitat for local fauna.
Similarly, poor landscaping can devalue your home, especially if it’s detrimental to the overall design aesthetic.
But on top of increasing the objective value of your property, involving a landscape architect in your Spanish villa build might mean the difference between a house and a home.
The most valuable four square metres of the whole property is probably that shaded spot in front of the view and the swimming pool (probably somewhere close to the kitchen). This is where you’ll have a coffee, read a book, or maybe just sit quietly and contemplate your surroundings. It’s the place you’ll share memorable meals with family and friends, host barbeques and perhaps children’s birthday parties.
Just being outside in the sunshine, in the breeze, looking at the views, breathing the fresh air… all this is very good for your physical and mental health.
So regardless of the monetary value a landscape architect can add to your property, the personal value they’ll bring to your home cannot be simply an afterthought.
Landscape architects: Designing for the Spanish climate
A landscape architect in Spain typically has to consider the sunny (although often dry) climate that makes the country such an attractive option for home builders.
They are trained to think about the landscape in terms of systems, in that it should all work cohesively to achieve functionality (irrigation, for example) and a good-looking space.
When a landscape architect visits a plot of land in Spain, they’ll be looking for potential problem areas that may need to be addressed before construction can begin, such as natural water flow on the land, deep roots and rock formations. They may also be able to come up with creative solutions that leverage natural elements, such as building a courtyard around an ancient tree.
One option that takes the climate into account beautifully is designing an outside space complete with native plants to reduce the amount of maintenance and gardening – a landscaping trend known as xeriscaping. This not only takes a lot of work off your plate, but it’s also more energy-efficient and eco-friendly as plants native to Spain require less water to sustain and there’s less need for chemical fertilisers.
Another great way to save money and energy is to install an automatic irrigation system, which can also be programmed to run on a timer for when you’re away and will only deliver the necessary amount of water.
Some brave people might even challenge their landscape architect to put in an attractive lawn. The immaculate golf courses of the Costa del Sol are proof it can be done (perhaps the high club fees indicate how much work, expense and water is involved in their upkeep).
And if your eco-home is destined to feature a green roof, your landscape architect needs to be involved, particularly if it’ll be a space you can walk out onto and relax.
Essential landscape architecture features for a villa in Spain
A well-designed outside area essentially extends your living space, so it’s important to consider what features your private landscape needs.
Seating, tables, patios, fountains, fire pits and outdoor kitchens are all possible in the right space, so let’s dive right into a few features you might want for your dream home in the sun.
One of the most important things to consider is where you, family and friends are going to sit and share drinks or a meal.
The seating area will need ample shading to protect from the Spanish sun and plenty of rooms for guests should anyone pop over unannounced.
The garden should get special attention from your landscape architect, as it’s usually the centrepiece of their design.
Bigger plants and trees tend to go further in boosting the value of your Spanish property, and remember, the more native species the better for an energy-efficient landscape.
A lot of Eco Vida Homes clients specifically have an outside kitchen in mind for their home; a spot where they can prepare breakfast as the sun rises or host a family event.
Barbecues are also high on the wishlist of Spanish home builders, so you’ll want plenty of space to cook and store everything you need without constant trips to the main kitchen.
Walking out onto your comfortable, shaded patio should feel like an extension of your home if your landscape architect has done their job properly.
Your landscape architect should offer materials and outdoor furniture options that blend with the interior.
A natural pool does away with the harsh chemicals of a standard swimming pool, while also being lower maintenance.
You’ll need to be working with a bit more land to install a natural pool, and the landscape architect needs to work extra hard to make it look clean and attractive to dive into.
Do I really need a landscape architect for my villa in Spain?
Buying land in Spain for a villa build and not considering the outside space kind of defeats the object in our opinion.
Outdoor life in Spain is integral to the culture, so investing in your own outdoor homelife is a key part of a successful villa in Spain.
However, it’s not necessary for you to assemble your own team or find a landscape architect in Spain that has all the skills and experience necessary for your project.
Working with Eco Vida Homes guarantees you a team that’s already experienced in collaborating to bring all elements of your villa together, including the landscaping – and it’s an investment that will only pay off down the line in reduced energy bills and increased property value.
Is the outside area one of your home essential to the success of your villa build in Spain? Contact Eco Vida Homes to discover how including a landscape architect on your team will reap huge rewards.