madrid-based architecture studio sharqk has renovated a residential complex in malaga, spain, which was formerly abandoned due to the spanish property bubble crash of 2008. taking the topographical context deeply into consideration, the architects have redesigned all interiors, as well as shared spaces, to generate a fresh housing project that blends seamlessly with its surroundings, while opening to generous views of the mediterranean sea. 

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the residential complex and its surroundings

all images courtesy of pedro pegenaute


the challenge of landscape integration 


studio sharqk’s main design drivers were determined by the local topography. excavated on a southeast-facing hillside, many of the existing spaces were able to benefit from the ground’s thermal mass while, at the same time, enjoying the sea views and natural ventilation.


one of the main challenges was the landscape integration of the project, trying to minimize its visual impact on the hillside and to provide privacy for its future owners. the architects achieved this through the design of a new materiality and the inclusion of several green spaces throughout different levels of the structure. the façade was finished with water-cement plaster that was chosen for its visual heaviness, providing a stark contrast to the large glazed openings and railings.

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the exterior materiality of the project


materiality in dialogue with the context


the lower levels are occupied by parking and storage areas, adopting a more private character. the apartments are located on the upper floors, framing a shared swimming pool and green area with views over the mediterranean and gibraltar. car and a main doubleheight pedestrian access is located on the lower ground floor, conceived as a slate podium that visually supports the rest of the project. the upper ground floor, on top of the hillside, is both a secondary access and a private entry to one of the apartments.


all nine apartments have different interior configurations and distributions depending on their location. they are all designed with large living-dining and kitchen open spaces facing the sea, with exterior permeable terraces that visually expand the interiors. interior finishes have been selected to provide a material dialogue with the project’s context. sand plastered walls in the common areas and textured tiles are present throughout the design. kitchen, stairs, wardrobes, and dressing rooms are all finished with natural oak, adding depth and warmth to the different spaces.

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the exterior during the day

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penthouse access

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swimming pool and green areas

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apartment terrace

the swimming pool
the swimming pool
penthouse kitchen II
penthouse kitchen II
penthouse interior stairs
penthouse interior stairs
penthouse kitchen
penthouse kitchen
the main access
the main access

project info:


name: N aparments
designer: sharqk | @sharqkstudio
lead architect: sandra herrera
location: malaga, spain



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edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom