elii [oficina de arquitectura]


125 · MIMOSA

Off-the-grid Hedonism

Restricted design competition for an ecological house in Mimosa - Plot 39



The project is based on a twofold objective: to imagine a dwelling that is self-sufficient and environmentally friendly and hedonistic to boot. "Ecology" and "pleasure" need not be at loggerheads.

Our entry is developed under a sweeping "landscape" roof made up of natural elements (native plants) and artificial elements (solar panels), whose folded geometry solves a number of issues: gradual adaptation to the slope of the land; framing the views towards the landscape from the rooms; adding natural overhead light at specific points through skylights; creating shade houses at the entrance and on the terraces; an optimal orientation for producing energy throughout the year; and controlling solar radiation by shedding it in summer but allowing it in in winter.

Under this great "energy blanket", the domestic program unfolds, arranged on different levels. The terraced section generates a flowing space that activates diagonal views and minimises the transit spaces, fostering the continuity of every room with the land by means of the terraces. The compact configuration of the volume improves the form factor and optimises its energy efficiency. At the centre of the floor, a small courtyard with a triangular base articulates the "daytime" area, permitting different ways of dividing up the space and illuminating the basement rooms. To the west is the "night-time" area, with its more intimate rooms, which can easily merge into the common area by opening some moving panels.

The garden follows the terraced scheme, based on a system of paths that allow the plot to be walked around freely. The local species used in the landscaping project have a low consumption of water resources and participate in the bioclimatic comfort systems of the house. The natural swimming pool is located in the southwest area of the plot, to take best advantage of the sunshine. The water is filtered by plants and species that make up part of the very same landscape.

Various different atmospheres are solved by means of warm materials, such as wood or ceramic elements. The facades, with their high level of thermal inertia, have ventilated systems that let the house breathe, creating optimal comfort conditions indoors and an average temperature that makes the use of air conditioning unnecessary.

The structure is solved by a system of laminated wood (for beams and columns) and of plywood panels (for walls and floors). Screws, bolts and other dry-assembly solutions minimize the use of watery or cementitious solutions on site, which are highly polluting and create enormous resource and energy sinks. All the wood will be certified and will have the corresponding ecological seal that guarantees the care and responsible commercialization of production forests.


1. Building with nearly zero consumption. Buildings in Europe are responsible for 40% of the European Union's energy consumption (European Directive 2010/31/EU). The project is configured to cut down on energy consumption and enhance energy efficiency.

Active and passive strategies.

2. Strategic geometry. The roof is usually the element with the highest thermal gain in terms of solar radiation. Its folded geometry allows for solar control, ensures energy production and provides space for enjoyment.

Geometries of energy and pleasure.

3. The architecture of the garden. The landscape strategy solves plot accessibility, facilitates interaction from rooms and terraces, defines a landscape of native species that take part in the local ecosystem, and stimulates relationships of affection and care.

Affective ecosystems.

5. Interface landscape. A series of indicators turn the invisible processes of energy production, management and self-regulation into chromatic codes in the garden, generating a changing landscape, depending on the energy behaviour of the house

Opening the black box, staging the data.

6. Off the grid. The layout on the plot, the passive and active bioclimatic strategies, the geometric and form factor proposal, the door canopies that let the sunlight through in winter and block it in summer, the use of low environmental impact materials, the construction based on dry assembly, the control of ventilation, the control of artificial lighting, the water collection and treatment system, the composting units, the geothermal system, the landscaping, the garden care protocols, the ecological swimming pool and the information displays make up a comprehensive ecological strategy that allows us to think of the house as a space unplugged from energy utility networks

Ecology unfolds in multiple processes.

7. Instructions vs. invitations. Often, ecology is formulated in a language of instructions ("recycle your paper!") that relegate citizens to a passive plane. Ecological challenges involve a major cultural change in which prescriptive vocabularies often fall short. Instead, enrolment strategies must be developed that invite residents to take part in large-scale political programmes.

Desire is an experimental field for ecology.



  • Arquitects:
  • elii - Uriel Fogué + Eva Gil + Carlos Palacios
  • Arquitects coordinating the team:
  • elii – Ana López, Lucía Fernández 
  • Collaborators:
  • elii - Raquel García, Marta Vaquero 
  • Developer:
  • Area de Proyectos SOMIUM Premium Properties
  • Images / renders:
  • Manu-Facturas (Manuel Monteserín) + elii
  • Surface:
  • 240,21m2.
  • Date: 
  • 2019
  • Location:
  • Mimosa – Las Colinas Golf & Country Club (parcela 39). Costa Blanca, Alicante