For all the talk of modern architecture, it is not often that you come across new designs that shift the paradigm and present truly innovative concepts for the future. José Carlos Moya and his team are doing just that from their studio in San Pedro Alcántara.

The post-war era was a period of unbridled possibilities and technology-driven futuristic ideas. Modern architecture was in its second youth, led by iconic designers such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen and Oscar Niemeyer, and while many focused on creating the straight-angled, glass-and-steel structures that continue to proliferate today, others threw their rulers away and sculpted sensually flowing lines whose geometry was an interplay of parabolic curves.

This led to the creation of villas that have become iconic and remain futuristic more than fifty years later. The product of advanced engineering and innovative design, these ‘sculpted’ homes, often rotating on raised pedestals, look like UFOs surveying the more mundane urban landscapes they overlook. Their evocatively rounded, open-plan interiors capture the zeitgeist of an era when exciting new possibilities were being explored, following a path originally trod by Frank Lloyd Wright that takes us right into the present.

Sunhouse 360°

Modern architectural styles and open-plan interiors are back ‘in’, but for the rest things haven’t changed much. Homes still pretty much do what they’ve always done, only in a more rectangular way with lots of glass, but José Carlos Moya and the young team at his San Pedro studio are exploring new horizons, working with new technologies, efficiencies and also experimenting with the latest materials to find the optimal mix of weight, durability and low maintenance.

The result is the Sunhouse 360° – a villa that is very different from anything you’re likely to have seen before, unless you’ve been to Villa Spies in Sweden, the Elrod House in Palm Springs (which not surprisingly featured in a Bond movie) or the villa once owned by Bob Hope – like the Elrod also a creation of futuristic architect John Lautner. He also penned the Malin Residence in Los Angeles, otherwise named the Chemosphere for its UFO-like shape.

Where these iconic homes were early pioneering eccentricities, the Sunhouse 360° is a serious proposition for the 21st century. Built of lightweight materials with energy-efficient and durable qualities, this luxurious ground-breaking property features not only modern design but also the latest materials and technologies integrated into a concept that fits right into our new technological era.

José Carlos Moya is the co-founder of Sunhouse, a company specialised in constructing the Sunhouse 360º rotating villas. The villa currently under construction is the Urban model, one of a series of varying designs and sizes that suit different needs, but all share the same rotating principle.

Avant-garde and Optimally Efficient

Set upon a rotating platform driven by powerful yet noiseless electric engines, the home derives its name from the fact that it can rotate a full 360 degrees on its axis – following the sun for optimal comfort when you need warmth, and keeping it at an angle if it is cooling shade you’re after. In doing so, the villa can be set to provide not only optimal comfort in terms of light and the maintenance of an even ambient temperature, but also accompanies this with unheard of levels of energy efficiency and associated cost-saving – up to 70%, in fact.

The rotating mechanism can operate from solar energy panels integrated into the roof, but this avant-garde home is futuristic for so many more reasons – not least because it looks like it belongs in the 21st century, is advanced in terms of technology and offers an exciting rounded living space that is more homely and welcoming than square-rigged layouts. Indeed, it suits the open-plan format beautifully, and reduces the need for long, narrow corridors, allowing the different living spaces to be intimate and private, yet also interconnected.

By the same token, a spacious living and dining room connected to a kitchen and terrace will not feel like an expansive, empty space, but flow together nicely in a way that optimises easy communication within the house. At the core of the building is a central distribution shaft that can be fitted out either as a stylishly spiralling stairwell or a sleek glass lift – or both – as the current range of designs for the Sunhouse 360° envisages two floors.

Back to the future – in Marbella

The feel is certainly retro-futuristic for those with a recollection of the other-worldly 1960s homes that inspired the genre, inviting one to create sunken lounges with panoramic views enjoyed from comfortable sofas in a wonderfully rounded configuration. This format also brings the panoramic views a home of this kind should have into focus, and as the home moves the outlook varies along with it, ensuring all the rooms in the villa can enjoy sea, mountain, town and golf views on a regular basis. In many respects it is the best of all worlds and a wonderful way to add excitement to a property sector that is looking for new inspiration.

Imagine life in a home like this and you imagine the future. Having garnered a great deal of excitement with this project, José Carlos Moya is developing the concept through a series of complementary designs, the main one of which is the Urban, though the smaller Compact variant also offers great potential not just for private homeowners but also investors in commercial projects.

“The interest is coming from across the country and Europe, and even beyond, but our first launch villa is being constructed close to Estepona, giving the Costa del Sol a rare first in architectural terms. We hope it is the beginning of a fresh way of thinking about modern homes.”