Christian Bourdais and Eva Albarran represent the meeting of two worlds that you might think are opposites. The developer and the art producer are, however, coming together to create a fine blend of architecture, art and real estate.
Against a 100-hectare natural backdrop of the majestic “Los Puertos de Beceite” natural park of the region of Matarrana in Spain, Solo Houses is a skillful blend of architecture, works of art and landscape paths designed especially for the site. Standing as the first collection of architecture in Europe, Solo Houses invites holidaymakers and visitors to take on an immersive artistic and architecture journey by staying at the Solo Hotel – the centerpiece of the Solo community and catalyst for all activities on the site – designed by the Chilean architect Smiljan Radic or one of the outstanding villas brilliantly thought by a New Garde of International young architects. Designed for both an individual and collective experience, Solo Houses favours the idea of a unique architectural experience combined with exclusive cultural activities covering art, cinema, nature, sport and cuisine, such as a site-specific landscape designed by Bas Smets and a cultural program curated by Hans Ulrich-Obrist for example.
As Solo Houses has not yet reach its definitive form, the on-going project currently welcomes two beautiful bespoke holiday homes designed by Pezo Von Ellrischausen and Office KGDVS out of the fifteen homes and one hotel planned to be built along the Solo journey.
Alone or in a group, with family or friends, Solo Houses is an unusual, stimulating and thought-provoking destination. Solo Houses is where architecture is experienced.
Meet the three pillars of Solo Houses:
Solo Hotel: Smiljan Radic
Smiljan is an architect. He lives and works in Santiago, Chile. Founded in 1995, his firm is one of the leaders in world architecture. Smiljan was the youngest architect to win the prestigious Serpentine Gallery Pavilion Award in London in 2014.
Smiljan has developed a reputation in South America by building groundbreaking structures that go against the weight of the materials, combining the natural and the artificial: clumsily rendered, but carefully polished. His works include villas perched on the coastal cliffs of Chile, museums and institutional buildings offering a strong contrast between geological power and delicateness of structure. His writing is a mix of language: natural and strange, crude and refined.
Smiljan is in charge of designing the hotel. He is developing an extraordinary property that interacts with the magnificent surroundings to offer every guest a unique experience.
Solo Landscape: Bas Smets
Bas is a world-renowned Belgian architect and landscaper. He has carried out projects in London, Hong Kong and Paris. Since 2009, he has been working on the public spaces of the Parc des Ateliers in Arles around the new art and research centre designed by Frank Gehry for the LUMA Foundation. He is currently in charge of the committee organising the Bordeaux Architecture Biennale.
From private gardens to regional projects to public spaces and urban master plans, Bas’s work strives to show what is present but not yet visible. Passionate about painting, he reminds us that it was Turner who revealed the fog on the Thames through his paintings even though it had been there for decades. Seeing and understanding the area in order to transform it through a cultural process is the tool Bas uses to develop his vision of the landscape.
Bas is creating for Solo Houses a project that reveals essences of the existing landscape through discovery paths on the site: on foot, by bike or on horseback, the trails provide a close connection to nature, architecture and works of art.
Solo Programmation: Hans Ulrich Obrist
Hans Ulrich Obrist is internationally acclaimed as the most powerful figure in modern art. His work as a critic, curator, author and speaker is recognized as the most influential of his time. Hans Ulrich Obrist has a unique view of modern architectural design, which he shows every year by organizing the Summer Pavilion programme at the Serpentine Gallery in London, of which he is the director.
Hans started his impressive career at the beginning of the 1990s by organizing an exhibition of the work of Christian Boltanski and Fischli & Weiss in his kitchen. This founding project began a series of exhibitions held outside of the usual context of galleries, art centres and museums. The artists Hans Ulrich Obrist helped showcase include Olafur Elliason, Phillippe Parreno, Pierre Huyghe and Anri Sala. As well as these exhibitions, Hans travels the world to interview artists, whose words and thoughts are reported in over 115 publications.
Hans Ulrich Obrist will create a different programme every year which will combine artists’ residences, artistic performances and exhibitions.