Spanish cave home is built into the side of a mountain

Nothing says ‘natural accents’ like rock walls.

The Cuevas del Pino house designed by architects UMMO Estudio sits at the foothills of Sierra Morena in Spain and has been constructed around its natural caves.

The actual house is connected to a series of pre-existing vernacular structures also built into the caves that are used for traditional farming.

The collective building is surrounded by 3,000sqm of gardens on a nine-hectare estate dedicated to beets and garlic crops, as well as various fruit trees.

Neat, but not overly manicured lawns spread out in front of the home. Picture: David Vico/ UMMO Estudio

Historically, the hollows in the caves – in which the house now sits – were used as small shelters for livestock watchmen.

The home now belongs to Spanish artist Pilar del Pino, who is behind the sympathetic design of the interior spaces. White walls highlight the unique colour and texture of the rock walls, white natural stone elements used in flooring pay homage to the environmental context.

“We have created a new spatial experience that manages to value the tectonic nature of the area through the use of new architectural elements: clean and quiet volumes, bright and ample spaces, use of stone materials for the flooring, such as concrete and marble, glass openings to the south to conjure natural light and handcrafted wooden furniture to give warmth,” says UMMO architect Manuel Murillo.

Both UMMO and del Pino wanted “a fluid and continuous dialogue between those pre-existing elements and the new architecture”.

The results speak for themselves

A liveable cave experience

UMMA’s preference for materials in their natural state echo the natural forms of the jutting and hollowed caves.

The use of glass in the facade feeds natural light into the cavernous space, while also creating amazing visual lighting effects upon the stone.

Yet as with all good interior design, liveability is just as important as the visual aspect.

Entering the cave is understanding the true meaning of peace and quiet – silence prevails and the thermal conditions provide year-round comfort.

While most cave homes are designed with a single entry to a windowless interior, the Cuevas del Pino has a wide opening in the bedroom and bathroom, which not only captures the morning light but allows for a healthy dose of cross-ventilation.

No steam in here. The bathroom opens up to allow fresh air to ventilate the space. Picture: David Vico / UMMO Estudio

Originally published as Spanish cave home is built into the side of a mountain by Alice Bradley. Author at