Spain’s Emporda region has a reputation for pursuing the slow life. Home to some of the country’s finest wines, the area is kept by medieval villages, sandy bays and rugged coastline. Situated in this serene part of the world is the Oxygen House; a home acutely aware of the ancient history and beauty of its natural surrounds. At the hand of Susanna Cots, the design is an ode to accessing nature as a source of life and tranquility – exactly our kind of breath of fresh air.
At every stage of the project, Susanna Cots anchored the home in three overarching concepts: the slow pace of life, the neutral and an inherent respect for nature. Behind the earthy stone facade and terracotta-tiled roof, the home has come together as a seamless whole of seperate cubes. By relying on a traditional exterior the home appears at one with its natural surrounds; a design drawing similarities to the Gjoevik House.
Inside, each cube is linked together by glass passages, providing a sense of continuity. The full height glass walls look out onto the enviable lap pool and landscaped border; different terrain offering an engaging journey from one glass-walled space to another. To keep the plant-like surrounds integrated at all angles, Susanna Cots has ensured several small patios exist between each of the main blocks inside. There’s never a dull moment with these opportunities for an endless stream of natural light.
While structuring the destination for slow living, Susanna Cots has looked backwards to authentic sloping ceilings and exposed rafters. Timber dividers are a continuation of this theme; well utilised throughout the walls, flooring and bench tops. The interiors are unaffected by bold colours with a palette that feels as though it is lifted from the rich and sandy soil, punctuated by black and sewn by the olive green and natural oak. These deliberate choices in materiality build a cultured and curated feel, further bolstered by the rattan rugs, eclectic art and furniture. Kitchen and living are segmented by a steel-framed partition offering a dual benefit of privacy and connection. Free from technology, these areas are all about social interaction and enjoying the simple pleasures of conversation.
It’s homes like the Oxygen House that truly reflect what it means to live slowly and go peacefully – just as the Emporda region has for centuries. Out of an intuition to the landscape, Susanna Cots has accentuated what it really means to slow down, in her signature Spanish way.
‘The kitchen is one of the independent spaces in which the slow criteria is best seen in the play of straight lines that provide movement.’
— Susanna Cots