How does AQUA at Sotogrande incorporate sustainable architecture and luxury?

By: May 14, 2024

2024 Architecture is marked by a focus on sustainability, adaptability, and human well-being. Today, sustainability is no longer an afterthought when designing but a fundamental consideration in every stage of the architectural process. 

AQUA is being launched at ‘The 15’, an exclusive residential area in La Reserva, Sotogrande‘s most private and secure enclave.

Inspired by the combination of light and water, the project showcases how sustainable architecture and luxury can coexist in an unparalleled setting.

I am interested in understanding how Sotogrande has minimized adverse effects – if it succeeded – on the environment while promoting healthier indoor environments.

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I am particularly interested in these three areas:

  1. Integration of eco-friendly materials,
  2. Implementation of energy-efficient technologies,
  3. Green building practices.

AQUA – at ‘The 15’, an exclusive residential area in La Reserva, Sotogrande

AQUA is the latest master design by ARK Architects within the most private and secure enclave in Sotogrande.

In this innovative project, water and light combine to form the soul of the property and the inspiration for the design, which allows water to flow into and mix with the spaces, creating a microclimate that cools the house in summer while the patios serve as the “lungs” of the home.

This architectural gem is rooted in humanistic principles, strongly connected to the natural environment, and has a unique relationship with light.

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The architect Manuel Ruiz, AQUA’s designer, says

“The project is distinguished by a strong focus on sustainability, with roofs designed for solar panels, natural ventilation systems and a self-regulating pool.”

The developer introduced a ventilation system with heat recovery, which is the optimal solution for energy efficiency and excellent air quality year-round.

This type of construction discards the usual cooling/heating mechanisms and maintains an indoor temperature of about 21°C daily.

To achieve this, they have used a combination of aerothermal and photovoltaic capture technologies. Two of the cleanest and most efficient techniques for generating electricity and heating and cooling a home.

Thus, they could also reduce the project’s energy costs. Their aim was to achieve total efficiency and energy self-sufficiency in the house for most of the year.

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With a total area of 4,928.3 square meters and an impressive built-up area of 2,534.25 square meters, AQUA enjoys an easterly orientation that optimizes natural light and offers mesmerizing sunrises.

The villa extends over three floors and features a total of 7 bedrooms, including a master suite, four additional suites, a guest suite, and a service suite.

The extensive amenities include 10 bathrooms, an elevator, multiple fireplaces, an outdoor infinity pool, an indoor pool and spa, a gym, a home office, a wine cellar, and an 8-space underground garage.

The revolutionary villa redefines the concept of grandeur by using carefully chosen materials, such as travertine, to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Travertine has excellent heat resistance properties, making it an ideal choice for areas prone to high temperatures, such as outdoor patios, pool decks, and fireplaces. 

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I was pleased to discover the following aspects within this project:

  • Landscape design. Landscaping elements were used to filter grey water.
  • Indigenous and traditional plants reduce water demand and preserve existing trees, helping to maintain the site’s integrity and history.
  • Permeable surfaces. Reduce run-off, allowing water to percolate through the local water table and/or aquifers.
  • Villa orientation. Conduct a site analysis to determine how the sun, wind, and other environmental agents affect the spaces.
  • Natural woods and wall coverings.
  • Natural stones such as travertine and granite combine with limestones, marbles, cobblestones, and gravel.

The newly unveiled AQUA project captures and reflects the essence of Sotogrande and its fundamental values, such as family, privacy, security, and authenticity.

The project is notable for its low building density and deliberate effort to integrate seamlessly into a distinctive ecosystem.