Nature by Kronos Homes, Costa Blanca, Spain

Nature by Kronos Homes, Costa Blanca, Spain

Christian de Portzamparc’s open block urban vision has done much to create enriched living experiences for city environments. In front of the golden sands of Playa de San Juan in Alicante, Spain, the avant-garde residential development Nature, from Kronos Homes, is showcasing the high-quality individual and collective living spaces that this approach can deliver. Jesús Gallego of ADORAS atelier architecture explains:

“In Nature, we conceptualized and designed following the criteria of the “Age 3” of CdP and adapting it to a specific place: the beach of San Juan in Alicante. We have created an innovative façade using local, traditional and marine climate-resistant materials (ceramic, trencadís and aluminum) but using them in an innovative way, setting new trends and respecting the environment. Being conscious at the same time of sustainable building practices and social impact.”

Nature’s design uses the open block (“Ilot Ouvert”) concept to deliver family-friendly environments, with gardens and nature at their heart. The 111 apartments, which include two-, three- and four-bedroom homes, are split across three buildings, with different dimensions and numbers of dwellings achieving a balance between mass and voids.

Collective spaces include a large communal pool, spa area, Zen garden, hammock space, children’s playground and paddle tennis court. With the open block layout, the streets in the common areas aren’t simply unprotected areas on the plot perimeters. They are full of commercial shops, filled with life and activity. They are places that invite residents to explore and share.

ADORAS atelier architecture’s Jesús Gallego comments:


“Considering the development potential, Nature could have been a large horizontal block in an ‘L’ shape, accumulating all the dwellings in a single volume and freeing up the whole plot, as is often done without further thought. Perhaps, it would have had better views, more green areas, more housing… but it would have lost that domestic and human scale that has been so well received.”

Nature has been well received by residents and property professionals alike. It was the only Spanish new-build project to be selected by OPAL (Outstanding Property Awards London). The jury recognised the creativity of this innovative project, which takes advantage of all the potential of the site to make it unique. It’s a façade that has never been built before, composed of ceramic baguettes, white aluminium and glass, which modulates the sunlight, wind, energy consumed, views and privacy of the apartments. The effect is both sustainable and stunning – OPAL saw fit to award it the 2020 Residential, Low-Rise Architectural Design Award.

The award-winning Nature delivers urban sophistication through this reinvention of traditional coastal architecture. Jesús Gallego continues:

“The architect, like the sculptor, has to shape the forms. So that air and light can pass between the buildings and into the street, but without opening up distances that are too wide to create urban fissures.”

Nature is the first project that Kronos Homes has created in line with the open block concept. Partner and CEO Saïd Hejal comments:

“Nature was a very important project for us as it was the first time we were attempting to execute an ‘ilot ouvert’. In Nature we continued to follow our philosophy of ‘puredesign,’ which integrates modern architecture with its surroundings.”

Saïd Hejal, Partner and CEO, Kronos Homes

The architectural design centres on energy efficiency and the warmth of the materials. The external appearance is defined by white aluminium rings that generate sinuous lines around the building, and ceramic that forms a second skin of variable density, with vertical slats that work as a large lattice, protecting the facades from the intensity of the Spanish sunlight.

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The light-filled homes feature spacious living areas and large terraces, while the penthouses have private rooftop pools and sea views. On the ground floor, the design of Nature’s shared amenities flows outward from the pool, with a green gradient delivering plant species with low water requirements around the perimeter through to more ornamental Mediterranean and tropical species as the centrepiece. ADORAS’ Jesús Gallego concludes:

“Even the unforeseen has a place in these blocks. The unknown, the future. Combining the innovative with the ordinary, the ordinary with the exceptional, to be lived and to continue to evolve without limits. Nature was created in order to respond to high densities. It combines the freedom of being of the hygienist blocks of the modern movement and the sustainable compactness of the closed block of the traditional city.”

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Nature by Kronos Homes, Costa Blanca, Spain

Property & Development Magazine