Seven-year itch: another note from Empuriabrava

Christopher Pierce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It seems to be a good time to write about the Villa Nurbs. After seven years, this small (327m2) house, designed by Enric Ruiz-Geli for the sleazier side of the Spanish Costa Brava, is only about half finished, but already it is the subject of numerous articles and essays. As houses go it is not a typical one, as all the press attests, and set in a 1970s coastline development of one- and two-story Spanish haciendas that makes Wisteria Lane seem diverse doubles the effect. It is reputed that the client has the best fish restaurant in town. He is also going to have the best house. But based on a competing eatery that we patronized, he lacks competition in either category. In culinary terms, our Empuriabravan “Don” is going up against a lot of fish, chips and mushy-pea joints. And this deep-fat fried context, in parallel architectural terms, is an issue. This attention-seeking and grabbing house, like a lot of the flounced-up local carp beachside, is a noisy pretender to the hallowed domestic canon defined by Loos, Le Corbusier, Aalto, Mies and Wright and feted in more contemporary times by Koolhaas (Floriac House) and UN Studio (Mobius House). A recent visit to the site made it clear that the weight of this self-alluded lineage is as culpable for the project’s unfinished state as anything else.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-39
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Cloud 9
  • Enric Ruiz-Geli
  • Empuriabrava
  • Villa Nurbs


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