Fran Silvestre Arquitectos. Photo: Diego Opazo courtesy Fran Silvestre Arquitectos as featured in Houses: Extraordinary Living

Fran Silvestre on how to build an extraordinary house

The architects in Houses: Extraordinary Living explain how they put drama into domestic living

We all know that houses come in vastly different shapes, sizes, and styles - but are there certain features that architects must (or must not) consider when designing a residential space? and how exactly does a structure transform into a dwelling optimised for domestic life - while being just that little bit different?

Who better to ask than some of the architects featured in our new book Houses: Extraordinary Living. After all, the book explores 400 of the world’s most innovative and influential architect-designed houses created since the early 20th century.


Fran Silvestre - CEO of Fran Sylvester Arquitectos, Valencia, Spain
Fran Silvestre - CEO of Fran Sylvester Arquitectos, Valencia, Spain

Included in the new book is House on the Cliff, a concrete, cubic structure cut into the cliffs of Alicante, Spain, designed in 2012 by Fran Silvestre Arquitectos - a multidisciplinary architecture and design studio based in Valencia, Spain. It's characterised by a dramatic 60 foot long balcony, which gives views out over the Meditteranean Sea. We asked Silvestre what he takes into account when building an ideal home. 

What is the most important element when you take on a commission to design a house? "Continuity. With the environment, but also to understand from a spatial and temporal point of view, to value an architecture that is capable of crossing time without becoming obsolete."

If you could build a house in any environment, which would you choose? Maybe in an extreme climate, where there are limited materials available. The landscape or territory has certain conditions - climate, orography, and vegetation -which unintentionally guide the creative and constructive process to the result."


Houses: Extraordinary Living
Houses: Extraordinary Living

Is there any architectural style that should never be applied to a home?  "We think that if something is duly justified it can be worth it. In particular, more than talking about style or language - we like to focus on the content of the message. And for each project, the story and the message are always different. 

Finally, what is your favorite house included in the book? "There are many projects in the book we find interesting, but perhaps Casa Moledo, from Eduardo Souto de Moura, for its unique approach to the landscape and its conception as a home."

Houses: Extraordinary Living celebrates the incredible diversity and beauty of the house as never before, from Modernist icons to feats of technological, material, and spatial innovation in the 21st century. Take a look at it here