Tucked away in Girona, Spain, an airy modern home is designed as an ode to the woods and open spaces that surround it. Named Oxygen, it is the conception of architect Susanna Cots and is the perfect home for relaxing and entertaining thanks to its wide open interior plan and expansive outdoor areas. The front facade hints at the serenity of the inside and features natural stone sections alongside smooth brown walls that are topped off with a scalloped edge. The clay tile roof is practical and aesthetically fitting for the design and materials of the home.
The 600-square-meter home, located in the Empordà, has a natural flow that relaxes and encourages the family to slow down and savor the surroundings. The overall design centers around a series of cubes that make up the various rooms of the home, all unified by elements of nature. Large glass windows, and in fact entire glass walls, make the home seem to be an integral component of the landscape.
The central cube of the home encompasses the main living area. It is divided into two by a uniquely shaped wall that delineates the two areas but still allows visibility and plenty of light to enter the space. On one side, the entrance to the home features a large entryway window and slatted wall, which once again allows for light to filter through. The area also boasts a sculpture that acts as a focal point in the minimalist hallway.
From the entryway, visitors get a tantalizing glimpse of what lies beyond the wall in the form of the beautiful natural setting. The second area is a large living space, which was designed as a tech-free room to encourage family and friends to talk, laugh and enjoy each other.
Much like the landscape that surrounds it, the interior features natural, calming colors and textiles that do not compete. The modern yet comfortable furniture is perfect for lingering with friends for lots of conversation. An ample armchair offers a welcoming place for reading in the light-filled living room.
Next to the living room, the dining area features a natural wood table and comfortable chairs that are not too heavy for the feel of the room. The dark chairs tie in with the black door frame and the cantilevered lamps is a better choice for this space than a permanent ceiling fixture. In an open space like this, a chandelier could impede the view and would make it difficult to rearrange the space for entertaining larger groups.
A large glass corner that has a full and open view to the pool and backyard sits at the opposite end of the living space. Defined by a modest, round jute rug, the corner makes a magnificent conversation area from which to enjoy the view while sipping the morning coffee — or afternoon tea.
Again, glass plays an important role in dividing the kitchen from the living space, yet still joins them together. Its liberal use throughout the home helps create a bright, upbeat atmosphere. As with the other spaces, the beautiful kitchen is a separate cube and in this case, it extends the casual feeling into a room that is usually associated with work. Angular lines interplay with the sloping roof that features beams made from oak pickled in white, creating a feeling of movement and a relaxed vibe.
The kitchen itself has a everything a cook might want along with a lot of other highly desirable features. A natural wood slab serves as a dining extension to the counter and adds an organic feeling to the island. The large window brings in light an offers a lovely view, complementing those on the other side.
At the far end of the kitchen, handle-less cabinetry maintains the sleek look and open shelves with recessed lighting provide a place for storage and display. Sleek appliances and a wine cooler add a touch of tech and make it modern.
The absence of hanging fixtures from the ceiling helps open up the space and capitalize on the tall ceiling height. Task lighting on the walls and around workspaces provides enough illumination for the kitchen.
While the surrounding area provides plenty of nature and views, the architect designed an interior courtyard to bring trees and plants even closer. Taking advantage of the large glass walls, the interior courtyard is the crux of the entire house and features a small ecosystem that includes olive trees and holm oaks that surround it on all four sides.
The last pavilion encompasses four junior suites, all of which were designed with the same sensibilities honoring the outdoors and nature. The long corridors tie the sections of the home together and lead to the private area of the home. The master suite features a glass corner similar to the living room, offering views to the pool, backyard and woods to the side the house. The same white pickled wood ceiling and beams carry through the casual atmosphere and minimal accessories emphasize the serenity of the space.
The minimal furnishings contribute to the light and airy feeling. A round occasional table stands in for a heavier nightstand, featuring a slim wooden top and cage-like base. The rough-hewn bed frame and substantial fabric of the pillows add texture and a hint of subdued color to the room. Wall-mounted bedside lights keep clutter to a minimum.
The same sedate color and material palettes continue through the bathrooms, along with the pickled wood ceiling beams. A deep soaking tub is a luxurious option and the large, deep sink in the vanity is extra functional. An olive branch serves as the only adornment in the space.
Another bathroom has a neutral gray color palette with an elongated honeycomb style tile and marble vanity. Lighting along the length of the large mirror at the top and underneath the bottom edge provides light without breaking up the space with ceiling or wall fixtures.
From the outside, it’s possible to see the different cubes that make up the house. The grass and pool run along the back of the house, providing a good view from many points in the home. From the backyard the ample glass walls and windows reflect the trees and greenery in an amazing way.
At night, the home takes on an added panache in the glow of dusk and warm interiors. The lighting highlights the windows and features like the slatted wall in the living room. Low-key exterior illumination brightness the entryway.