With stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and a refreshing pool, Villa Riu Blanc is a colourfully designed boutique hotel in the Marina Alta that draws on earthy materials and Moroccan fabrics.
How would you describe SpronkenHouse in a nutshell?
An experience of art in its purest form. SpronkenHouse is not a luxurious house as you might think of it. But in another way, it’s extremely luxurious because of the experience and size of the buildings.
As you are driving up the road towards the house, suddenly everything opens up. Then you see what appears to be a Greek temple in the distance and as you come near, you feel the power of the structure. It’s not a house, it’s an amazing sculpture that you can sleep in.
What was the inspiration behind SpronkenHouse?
It was created by my uncle who has been forging iron his entire life and is a renowned artist in Maastricht. He’d always had the idea to build his own, private getaway — a huge sculpture — but had trouble finding the right location. After searching in Switzerland, Sardinia and Sicily, he eventually found this piece of land in Spain.
He built SpronkenHouse using cement, glass and wooden beams sourced from an old harbour in Rotterdam. There’s no paint, no plaster and the layout is influenced by the Fibonacci sequence. He thinks like an artist, not an architect. He wanted to build something big and asked for the biggest bit of glass you can transport to that area. That became the only limitation - the size of the glass.
For him, the most important part was creating it. Now that it’s finished, he can just sit outside looking at it for hours. He always had this dream, he would build this beautiful sculpture and now he’s done it.
But owning and taking care of a property that size is a big responsibility, so he decided he wanted others to enjoy and experience it. As he doesn’t have a background in marketing or property management, he asked me to take over the ownership and rent it out so others can enjoy it. The only condition was that he could come on vacation for a few weeks each year. It’s where he finds his calm.
Since that time, we’ve bought the surrounding land to stop anyone from building around it and to preserve the art.
How would you describe the atmosphere at SpronkenHouse?
It makes you feel humbled and as though you are sleeping inside a work of art. There are bigger houses in the world but they don’t offer the overwhelming purity of architecture. There’s a power to the structure and it’s like nothing I’ve seen before.