Begur

Aiguafreda Urban Plan

Sustainable development on the Costa Brava

YEAR

2009

LOCATION

Begur, Spain

ARCHITECT

Co Govers and Joana Ramalhete

SIZE

100 ha

The project concerns a community of luxury villas in a dream-like setting: a rocky bay on the Spanish Costa Brava. The villas, each with a natural swimming pond, are scattered around a centrally maintained wild green landscape, with steep drops and many trees.

Each villa consists of two 1-storey wings, one for living and one for sleeping. These are connected by a double-height family room. Spatially the family room acts as a sort of hinge, which allows us to position each wing of each villa individually according to the layout of the terrain.

Technical Data

Name: Aiguafreda Urban Plan

Location: Begur, Spain

Client: Corporate

Surface area: 100 ha

Project design: 2009

Architects: Co Govers and Joana Ramalhete  (ZEST Architecture)

Graphic documentation: ZEST Architecture

Renders: Marco Podestá

The property developer wanted to build family villas but to keep the landscape as untouched as possible, so we looked for a concept that would allow an integrated, responsible development. We spent several days walking and photographing this very steep site and realized that several plots were not viable for a family villa. These areas would be used instead for attractive areas of greenery that provide privacy, quiet and cool shade.

 

By grouping villas together, we could lower costs, making the most of the locations that were slightly less inclined (ease of construction) and had better views. The community further boasts a shared tennis court and clubhouse, gym and spa. A caretaker looks after the properties and makes it easy for owners to let their property in their absence.

 

Each villa consists of two 1-storey wings, one for living and one for sleeping. These are connected by a double-height family room. Spatially the family room acts as a sort of hinge, which allows us to position each wing of each villa individually according to the layout of the terrain. With an extra bedroom in the living wing, it can be used by a couple on their own when no guests or children are there, without having to heat of cool an entire villa.

 

Because the villas are grouped together in a community, we decided to provide for a joint solution in terms of energy generation instead of individual solar installation. A joint solution is more efficient, especially in the case of secondary residences. We designed a ribbon of solar panels which undulates over the hill. All of the generated power will be sold back to the network, which thereby acts as storage facility.