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Camino de Playa

Tapio Snellman

A Midsummer Galician’s Dream.

Tapio Snellman returns back with a new collaboration with Jamie Fobert Architects, filming their renovation project "Camino de Playa", a former abandoned centuries old farmhouse now turned into a house, set in an agricultural valley and connected to the Atlantic beach by trails through a pine forest. The film traces a late summer's day revealing the building's connection to its immediate surrounding and the great Galician landscape beyond.

The Costa da Vela Nature Reserve in Galicia sits on the very edge of Europe. Here, untamed, sparsely inhabited land meets the wild Atlantic with long stretches of beautiful white beaches.
Back in 2004, Jamie Fobert and Dominique Gagnon came across a long-abandoned house, amidst the sand paths that link the countryside to the coastline: it took them 12 years of negotiation and design and planning to transform the deserted building to an confortable country house. The result is now documented by Tapio Snellman, who has already worked with this architectural team.

Tapio captures the variation of lights, the nature sounds, the relaxed slow motion of the trees and the wind, blowing from the ocean: he aims to unveil the relationship of the house with the landscape of Galicia, left unchanged by the renovation project. The architectural firm adapted the house to the surroundings and vice versa, as to create a structure that would communicate with the region, while providing all the facilities their clients requested. Exemplary is the swimming pool in this sense: as the architects comment: "At the top of the sloping site, existing pines have been shaped and weighted to create a natural parasol, complemented by native olive trees, cork oaks and flowering succulents. An infinity pool cascades down one wall of the new courtyard below. An irregular stone stair steps down to the house; it feels ancient—part of the rocky landscape."

The use of drones and long shoots enhances the feeling of belonging of the house to the landscape, putting it into perspective, moving from outside to inside, upwards to downwards - a signature characteristic of Tapio Snellman per Jamie Fobert, as seen on "Tate St.Ives", celebrating the reopening of the Contemporary Art Museum of the coast of Cornwall. Close ups will pay the tribute to the remarkable work of the architects in choosing the materials to conduct the renovation. What's more: Tapio included people in the video, as to create a sense of warmness and domesticity to the house - this is a place given back to its function: to be a home, an inhabited place.

(Story by Sara Marzullo, The Architecture Player)


Architect: Jamie Fobert Architects
Mentioned project: Camino de Playa (2017)
Project location: Galicia, Spain

Spain 2017
Duration: 3'22"