a new relationship between country and city

villa icaria by spanish studio arquitectura al descubierto recalls the utopian proposal of étienne cabet and seeks to establish a new relationship between country and city, creating a meeting place, an opportunity to once again fill the rural environment with contemporary urban activities. the volumes of the dwelling are intertwined with nature on the banks of the tagus river in spain.


its solids and cavities describe this double quality. the stone, the rural organicism, and the shadow give way to the glass, the light, and the synchronic space. the floor of the building unfolds two hugs, who comes and who lives, creating a small town articulated around two courtyards-squares. these volumes alternate interior spaces of two types: those that are crossed by the landscape and those that are sheltered inside the stone volumes, capturing visual fragments.

villa icaria 1
all images by imagen subliminal
views of the house from the pool 


a place of return to the origins

the entire construction is the work of local masons and local materials have prevailed in this return to the essential. arquitectura al descubierto used raw finished: the exposed concrete vaults, the rustic plastering of the interior walls, and the polished concrete floors connecting with the logic of the rural. permeability, spatial continuity and intimacy follow one another. the house aims to offer an alternative to the city, but linked to it. a place of return to the origins, creating a refuge where to develop the hyper-connected technological activity of the 21st century. the project includes different intentions -search for the best views of the river, conservation of existing trees, sustainability, self-sufficiency- to configure a whole with meaning.

villa icaria 2
view of the bedroom volume from the access patio photo



villa icaria 3
the dining room from the access patio photo

villa icaria 4
second patio with views of the workshop 

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interior view from the second patio 

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exterior view of the workshop and guest bedroomvilla icaria 7
the north garden

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the north garden photo

villa icaria 9
access to the workshop from the north garden

villa icaria 10
the landscape captured from the workshop

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the living room

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the dining room from the living room with a table by bruno mathsson



project info:


name: villa icaria
designers: arquitectura al descubierto

location: spain

photography: imagen subliminal



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: yasmina karam | designboom