“Casa Levene, designed by architect Eduardo Arroyo, an icon of modern architecture. The most awarded Spanish house of recent times”.
Richard Levene, architect and founder of EL CROQUIS, one of the most prestigious international architecture magazines, entrusted the difficult challenge of designing “Casa Levene” to his professional colleague Eduardo Arroyo.
Arroyo gave free rein to his creativity and conceived this experimental house, adapting it to a century-old forest located on Monte Abantos in San Lorenzo de El Escorial. The idea was not to cut down any trees. Without a single brick and built dry, so as not to damage the roots of the trees or their aquifers, the foundations are made of micropiles driven into the ground. The lightweight metal structure had to be built in situ, which, in the form of arms, occupies the free space left by the trees. Its surprising roof is made of basalt from Mongolia.
The house disappears on the outside, reflecting the forest in its large windows.
Distributed in different floors for each of the resulting arms in the “anti-forest”, Arroyo articulates the different uses seeking functionality.
The children have their own play area, their own terrace and their bedrooms, with independent access.
For the adults, the house is distributed over half floors, and as one descends one finds the living room with a bar area, a kitchen-dining room with its own terrace (shared with a heated indoor swimming pool) and finally, the two main bedrooms, with a large bathroom.
Arroyo devised a colourful interior, differentiating the most private area with blue epoxy walls and floors, while for the more social areas he chose orange. Much of the furniture in the house was designed for each of its spaces.
“It was a big challenge to build Casa Levene. I have always thought that an architect should not design his own house. That’s why I decided to contact Eduardo Arroyo, one of the best in the world” Richard Levene
It has a built surface area of 490 metres and a plot of 1,364 square metres.
It has three floors connected by an internal staircase and lift, built on an ascending slope. The unevenness of the terrain marks the half-floor jumps, where the life of the house is distributed.
Two bedrooms with two en-suite bathrooms, dressing room, sauna, indoor swimming pool and kitchen-dining room with dining area and terrace.
Lounge-bar with terrace.
Entrance to the house. We find the hall, two bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and a lounge-study with terrace.
Selected for the “Best architectural design” exhibition of the Brit Museum of Design in the year 2008. First prize for International Aluminair in 2007. Selected for the Spanish architecture exhibition “On-Site: New Architecture in Spain” at the MOMA in 2006.
“We put ourselves at the service of the forest, its trees and its structure, a personal commitment to respect nature, and we began to build in the clearings that the trees left us”.
“To define the interior colours we took Goethe’s theory into account: blue in areas for relaxation and orange in areas of vital revelry. Warm colours stimulate the mind, they cheer up, while cold colours calm the mood” Eduardo Arroyo
Casa Levene selected by the BBC as one of the most extraordinary houses in the world. It is part of the documentary The world’s most extraordinary homes – Forest. Award-winning architect Piers Taylor and actress Caroline Quentin, a real estate lover, travel the world in search of original houses in incredible locations. Available on Netflix.