A Beautiful House Among the Olive Trees
A tour inside La Casa en los Olivos in Valencia, Spain
“The movement of the water generates hypnotic, undulating reflections and
—Laura Moreno Albuixech
There’s a certain time of day in the Mediterranean—call it the last-of-afternoon, or the almost-evening—when the entire universe seems at peace. The breeze is soft and warm; the shadows are lengthening; sunlight dances in the leaves of the olive grove. Everything on the earth is transformed into a rich, luscious bronze; everything above it becomes a brilliant shade of azure.
La Casa en los Olivos (The House in the Olive Grove) is a beautiful house built for those moments. Located in a centuries-old stand of olive trees, about an hour’s drive from the Spanish city of Valencia, the house offers not only a stunning example of thoughtfully-designed architecture but also an extended conversation about the nature of beauty and the beauty of nature.
“We’d known about this plot for a long time,” says Laura Moreno Albuixech, co-founder of Balzar Arquitectos. “There’s nothing but calm and tranquillity in this place. When it came to the build, we were clear that we wanted to respect it.”
In truth, rather than being built on the land, the house seems an homage to it—a tribute to our ever-shifting experience of earth, sun, water, and sky. The home’s horizontal layout offers expansive landscape views from almost every room while lending a sense of proportion and balance.
Large glass doors, multiple skylights, and oversized windows flood the space with light that changes from hour to hour. Three courtyards blur the lines between indoor and outdoor, inviting rosemary and pine-scented air from the hills beyond to flow freely through the rooms.