Architecture is A fAscinAting explorAtion of shApe And form. This is the
calling card of co-founders‚ Joaquín Torres and Rafael Llamazares and their 70-plus strong team‚ A-Cero‚
one of Spain’s top architectural studios. The firm is made ever more visable given that Torres is a presenter
on the Spanish television series Supercasas. Like many of the studio’s celebrity clients he has found fame‚
not only on the show‚ but as the country’s leading contemporary architect responsible for the Concrete
House—a gorgeous‚ modernist structure boasting star appeal equal to that of its celebrity resident.
Built on a sloping plot in the affluent Madrid suburb of Pozuelo de Alarcon‚ the architecture responds to
the topography of its surroundings‚ creating a sense of fluidity between the building and the landscape.
Laid out over two floors‚ the lower level incorporates the games room and main service areas‚ such
as the staff quarters‚ a room for wines produced by the family’s vineyard and a sizable garage‚ while
upstairs reflects all the trappings of the owners’ privileged lifestyle. From the outset of the project‚ interior
designer Belen Domecq was tasked with creating an interior that would complement the refined glamor
of Torres’ architecture.
Sober shades of white and brusque grey concrete walls dominate the interior‚ so the use of organic‚
textural elements was essential to soften the scheme. The rich hue of dark oak floors imbues each room
with a sense of warmth‚ a stipulation of the client and a trademark element of the designer’s celebrated
style. “The principal objective was to design something "cozy" in a very contemporary house made of
concrete‚ not something cold and uncomfortable‚” says Belen. In a space such as the principal living
room‚ with a soaring 24 foot high ceiling‚ cozy could be considered quite a challenge. The resolution was
to use full-height curtains in the same shade as the walls. Lower ceilings in the adjoining TV and dining
rooms posed the reverse problem and a contrasting response: matte black feature walls.
Lighting was also intrinsic to the plan of the home. The architect specified concealed lighting that would
throw out a warm glow‚ similar to incandescent lighting (the secret being a combination of LED and
fluorescent energy-savers.) In the living room and main corridor‚ the light scheme truly comes into its own;
here it interacts with the architecture and enhances the home’s impressive structure.
The main dining and lounge areas are integral to the family’s sociable lifestyle‚ so linking the three key
spaces to the outdoor porch and pergola for summer entertaining was imperative. This is where the
geometry of the furniture comes into play. The mix of long‚ linear‚ bespoke pieces follow the symmetry of
the exterior architecture‚ creating a natural flow between both indoor and outdoor spaces. The theme
continues in areas such as the main corridor and master bathroom‚ both of which look out over a small
The private bathing space‚ which forms part of the impressive master bedroom suite‚ takes its cue from
the indoor/outdoor aspect of the design‚ as transparent shower enclosures create the illusion that one
is showering among the flora outside. The master bedroom suite within the personal wing of the home
is no less impressive than its social counterpart. Measuring more than 33 feet and consisting of the
aforementioned bathroom‚ separate his and her dressing rooms‚ and an adjoining lounge‚ the couple’s
private retreat is as spacious as it is luxurious. Though the name may subtlely suggest otherwise‚ the
Concrete House is a paragon of modern luxury and A-list living n Architects, Joaquín Torres and Rafael
Llamazares of A-Cero, Parque Empresarial La Finca. Pº Club Deportivo 1, bloque 6 A., Pozuelo de Alarcón,
Madrid, Spain + 34 91 799 79 84, a-cero.com; Interior design, Belen Domecq, Grupo Cosmic S.A., Calle
Lope de Vega 13, Madrid, + 34 91 360 06 22 grupocosmic.com