The heart of the house is where the family and friends gather round to talk, have a drink, and maybe share the preparation of the food.

It’s the kitchen island. Beside the kitchen island, you can look out across the infinity pool to the Mediterranean framed by the wooded valley of El Madroñal. The children are playing in the pool.

The pool terrace and the kitchen/living area are like one space because the glass wall disappears completely into the wall pockets on either side. The shade is carefully calibrated so that the kitchen/living room never gets direct sunlight. It never overheats. So for most of the year, the whole area can be enjoyed as one space with a cool breeze blowing inland from the sea.

Even in the winter, with the glass wall closed it still feels like one space because of the uninterrupted span and the seamless floor tiles.

The design is something that inherently flows from the lifestyle it offers to its occupants. The elements form a collective built out of the location, the views, and the immediate surroundings that make it a special place to live in and call home.

About our clients

Mike, from Ireland, is head of sustainability for an international property developer. His Spanish wife, Maria is in marketing. The names have been changed to respect their privacy. They had been living in Australia for many years when they decided to build their own villa in Spain, it being their preferred country to raise their children.

They knew exactly what they wanted their villa to be and were happy to start making decisions while still living abroad. But managing a project from another country would be more problematic than they imagined…

El Madroñal Completion
El Madroñal Episode 1
El Madroñal Episode 2
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El Madroñal Completion
El Madroñal Episode 1
El Madroñal Episode 2
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Mike and Maria’s* story

After setting their hearts on returning to Maria’s homeland for good, the couple knew they needed a home that wouldn’t compromise on their vision.

For this foodie family, the kitchen would be the main hub of the house; but not just any kitchen – they wanted to be able to gather around the hub cooking together with friends and family, maybe sharing a glass of wine, watching the children in the pool against the backdrop of the Mediterranean. The problem was, searching for a plot while still living in Australia was making a comprehensive hunt and thorough inspection an almost impossible challenge.

What they needed was support on the ground, and Eco Vida Homes was happy to help. Our team put in the leg work with video reports and cross-continental consultations, so our clients could negotiate the price of the plot (in El Madroñal, Marbella) without having to book a 20-hour flight. In fact, they even put down their deposit without having seen the plot in person.

During the design phase, there were many twists and turns as we juggled with the slope, vehicular access, the key features they wanted in their home, and budgetary constraints.

You will notice from the photographs that the design of the villa steps down the slope and that the bedrooms and living areas all face south towards the views. You will also notice that at no point is the building more than two stories high in order to comply with the planning regulations. The easy way to do it would have been to have the property face east across the valley.

With glass walls opening up the interior seamlessly to the infinity pool, Mike and Maria’s villa blends into the natural surroundings, giving them the views they were looking for from inside. But there’s one secret feature they were quite happy to keep hidden…

After discovering a unique space between the house and the rock wall, our clients decided it would be the perfect wine cellar with a perfect stable temperature and home to Mike’s wine collection. The rock wall now has lighting installed to accentuate its natural features and, of course, a small bar.

*Names have been changed in the interest of client confidentiality.

Key features of the villa

Infinity pool

Mike and Maria knew exactly what they wanted for their outdoor space. We worked with them tirelessly until the swimming pool looked right across the most stunning views – and it was certainly worth the effort.

Secret wine cellar

Sometimes, it’s best to leave the design up to Mother Nature. Discovering the natural rock space for the wine cellar was a pleasant surprise for our clients, and one that’s become the most prized feature of the villa.

Rooftop parking

In the end, parking on the roof and a lift became the most elegant solution to parking and access problems. In addition, there is undercover parking in the basement garage. This solution ended up being a pleasant way to enjoy the stunning views as soon as they arrive home.

Energy efficient

Extra insulation, energy-efficient windows, and a ground source heat pump will earn this home an A-grade energy certificate.

With Eco Vida Homes you are in charge of the design. Our job is to make your vision a reality.

Full Cost Analysis Available: (not published here to protect our client’s privacy). If you contact me then, with our client’s permission I may be able to let you see a full cost analysis so you can compare with your own project.


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