ZEST architecture is an architecture studio founded in 2009 by the Dutch architect Co Govers, after working with architects such as Max van Aerschot in the Netherlands and Josep Lluis Mateo in Spain. Co holds a Masters in Architecture from TU Delft with a specialization in sustainability. Her great talent, and something ZEST has always focused on, is the ability to combine sustainability with elegance, and this is why projects by ZEST architecture always stand out.

At ZEST we use our knowledge of both traditional and cutting edge construction techniques and materials to design buildings that have a better interior climate, minimizing the needs for heating, cooling and artificial lighting. Decisions about energy efficiency and renewable energy are part of the process from the beginning.

Our designs are characterized by the use of natural materials, which we apply in a minimalist and often innovative way. We believe materials that age beautifully lead to inherent durability, so we pay special attention to the “wabi sabi” of materials, a Japanese expression that refers to the beauty a natural material acquires over time. Our attention to detail in the design and the execution of our projects is one of the keys of our success with our clients.

As well as working for private clients and developers on homes, housing, boutique hotels and offices, we have also had success with international competitions. Our mosque, the Ray of Light in Dubai, won a prize in 2010 and has been published in magazines and websites worldwide. Noted for its beauty and for the fact that it’s the first mosque design that provides equal access to both men and women, it has been exhibited in various museums in Germany in 2012 and 2013 as part of the exhibition “Kubus oder Kuppel”. It continues to play an important role in the discourse on Mosque design, as witnessed by the fact that Co Govers was asked to present and discuss it at the 2019 International Conference on Mosque Design in Kuala Lumpur. In 2014 ZEST Architecture took part in the Venice Biennale, presenting an installation in the exhibition “Time Space Existence”, organized by the Global Art Affairs Foundation (LINK).

Our team consists of architects that believe that good design starts with observing and listening. We are all English speaking, but Dutch, German, French, Chinese, Catalan and Spanish are also spoken at our office. We’ve been lucky to work with fantastic clients who have inspired us and made our work varied and exciting. Working from Barcelona, ZEST architecture is fully licensed in Spain and the Netherlands, with associates in Portugal, the Balearic islands and the UK.

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We were delighted to work with Co Govers and Maria Matamala in all phases of the project, from planning to the final execution. Being based in Scandinavia much of the communication was done long distance with English as the working language. The professionalism and level of (friendly) service of ZEST architecture was and is exceptional. On our behalf they dealt with all parties involved in realizing the project, which included many bespoke and complex solutions. We have warmly recommended ZEST architecture to our friends and would not hesitate to do so to others.

John, Stockholm

Co Govers and her team really listen to your needs and wishes, and are full of ideas for spatial solutions and materials that really made our house special. They combined practicality with truly noble materials and delivered clever solutions throughout the house that are perfectly finished. The works were supervised with great care and the project was delivered on time, leaving us with a really content feeling about the project. And all of us really love our new home!

Isabel, Barcelona

From the moment we first spoke I knew ZEST were the architects for us. Co was amazing, she just understood us so well, and then converted our vague ideas into an amazing project. The team at ZEST is very professional and knowledgeable, and they managed to overcome all the hurdles that the council put in our way.

James, London

Building turned out to be much more fun than we had imagined. Working with the team at ZEST was a pleasure every step of the way. From defining how we would generate our power to the workflow in our kitchen, everything seemed to be logical and stress free. And I am so proud when people walk into my home; they are always incredibly impressed.

Anne, Amsterdam

We were very happy to let ZEST design our house in Barcelona. Co and her team are very professional and dedicated. They understood our requirements and gave us their professional advice. From the architectural work to the entire interior design of the house and the construction supervision, Co and her team provided us with top service. We are very satisfied!

Michael, Germany

Creating the house of our imagination on a Spanish mountain was never going to be easy. Off-grid and remote, in an area of incredible beauty, at time nature herself seemed to conspire against us, not to mention the planners and builders. Co guided us through the many obstacles, and turned a once abondoned shell into a home, combining the latest in up-to-date living with a sense of history and place and the indefinable style of a master of her craft.

Reg, Alicante

We were delighted to be working with Co Govers and her team at ZEST architecture on the redevelopment of our estate in Barcelona Province. From the start we were impressed by the team's vision, knowledge, responsiveness and attention to detail. I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending ZEST architecture.

Jonathan, UK

Co and her team are an absolute pleasure to work with. From the outset, we've felt in very capable hands, despite being on the other side of the world to the ZEST offices and our project site. They are attentive, professional, patient and very talented. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them.

Andrew, Sydney

Co and the team at Zest are exceptional. Importantly for me they spent time getting to know us, in order to understand our requirements. As a result they have designed an exceptionally beautiful home for my husband and I located in The Gavarres. They have held our hand every step of the way, and have filled us with confidence. I know our finished home will be everything we've dreamed of.

Nicola, Sydney

In a village on the Costa Brava our apartment with sea view was in need of a thorough renovation. In order to carry out these drastic works, we chose Zest Architecture. From Belgium we could follow the evolution of the renovation. A fine collaboration with Co and her team resulted in a great result and this within the set term. Highly recommended !!!

An, Belgium