BOOM Costa Del Sol

Oyster House for the BOOM Community, Malaga, Spain, 2011

Nigel Coates was invited by New York architects HWKN to design a standardised yet customisable home for the BOOM Costa Del Sol community. The BOOM project is designed for members of the GLBT community to develop their lives beyond the age of 40.

The Oyster House is designed to capture the unique GLBT spirit. This simple but seductive building makes generous domestic space that can be configured to balance privacy with the need to socialise. It should be the natural extension of the life of its inhabitants, and provide the freedom that traditional buildings have always hindered.  After all, who says that older people can’t enjoy a boogie, or be as addicted to sport as they always were? One of the secrets of successful old age is to sustain one’s youthful pleasures.

The upper floor is defined by the more protective ‘oyster’ form which encourages inhabitants to delineate their boundaries and connections, while the lower floor opens into the landscape in all directions. Its simple cruciform plan loosely defines areas that can be modified according to function or mood. It can suit many combinations of individuals, from groups of friends to couples, families with kids and threesomes. All can be accommodated so as to reflect these relations in a conducive flexible space.

Movement is the key to the whole, a leitmotif achieved with a double stair and all the upstairs rooms potentially interconnecting, while the downstairs interior rotates a full 360? with continuous glazing affording views to the outside.

The structure would make use of local, ecologically sourced materials such as stone, terra cotta and traditional plaster; the frame would be built from reinforced concrete but the floors and roof would be made from timber joists with stone outer casing.