Slovenian studio OFIS Arhitekti has built a remote desert getaway in Andalusia. Set within the desert plains of Gorafe, the mirrored glass pavilion provides protected and unmatched views of the Andalusian landscape and night skies.
The project, initiated by Guardian Glass is challenging the thermal and structural abilities of glass. Rather than concentrating only in “a glass as a window element” the concept investigates its advanced potentials, such as a transparent but shading element, a thin but thermally efficient envelope that is also the only structural support.
The site chosen for the pavilion well known as being an exceptional location for stargazing, because of its elevation and lack of light pollution. Yet it is also among the harshest environments in Europe. Temperatures in the Gorafe desert can rise past 40 degrees celsius.
“If we would have used bad glass the space would get overheated, which would mean that someone who lives here could die,” pointed out architect Spela Videcnik, who founded OFIS Arhitekti with Rok Oman in 1998. “With this high-quality glass there is no external shading needed to protect the inside from the strong sun,” she added. “If you can make a building that can resist these conditions you could make a building anywhere.”
Designed as a Y-shape, the floor plan offers a living area, bedroom and sunken bathtub off the central axis which houses an enclosed toilet. Timber was used all over, the floorboards extending past the protective exterior glass walls to create the deck that wraps around the building.
Because of the remote location of the building, it has been designed to be self-sufficient in energy and ecological in its waste management. Electricity requirements are fulfilled through solar power panels, drinking water is captured in a tank from rainfall, and wastewater is treated in a separate septic container that is buried beneath the structure. The pavilion will stay inside the Spanish desert for a year, before being moved on to a new site for further testing.
Another glass house has been making thenews lately, where you can watch the northern lights in Iceland.