The Labyrinth Home of Xavier Corbero | Yellowtrace

The Labyrinth Home of Xavier Corbero | Yellowtrace

The Labyrinth Home of Xavier Corbero | Yellowtrace

The Labyrinth Home of Xavier Corbero | Yellowtrace

 

Nestled in the suburb of Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona, is legendary artist and sculptor Xavier Corbero’s 32 square kilometer (8 acre) estate. Totalling nine buildings, the estate is a labyrinthine cabinet of curiosities concealed by a disarming medieval stone fence. This epic project remains a work in progress that 80-year-old Corbero has been building for over half his life.

The exteriors include geometric concrete structures stacking at different heights to create commanding sculptures amidst the wild surrounds and bodies of water. Across vine-cloaked buildings, details such as floating steps are framed by contrasting curved arches. The interiors are a medley of man-made caves, whitewashed to form living quarters, workshops and gallery spaces.

 

The Labyrinth Home of Xavier Corbero | Yellowtrace

The Labyrinth Home of Xavier Corbero | Yellowtrace

The Labyrinth Home of Xavier Corbero | Yellowtrace

 

Corbero explains that the driving motivation behind his artistic creations is to create “poetry” – which is exemplified by his eccentric estate. He celebrates honesty in materiality by emphasising the rugged textures of concrete or timber with perfect imperfection. Each internal lookout is carefully considered to maximise views of greenery and welcome light. His masterpiece reflects a skilful understanding of how natural light washes over spaces to illuminate them beautifully.

At the centre of it all is an awe-inspiring six-storey glass atrium dubbed ‘The Tower’, where Corbero lives. ‘The Tower’ is filled with the art, and curious objects that have been lovingly collected over his prolific career as a global artist. For a man who counted Dali amongst his friends, you can be sure the pieces he surrounds himself with will have many a story to tell.

 

The Labyrinth Home of Xavier Corbero | Yellowtrace

The Labyrinth Home of Xavier Corbero | Yellowtrace

The Labyrinth Home of Xavier Corbero | Yellowtrace

The Labyrinth Home of Xavier Corbero | Yellowtrace

 

Treating his home as an “agenda”, Corbero’s belongings are intentionally displayed to be playful and intriguing, with everything in clear view – a gallery in and of itself. Here, he mixes furniture and art of different eras, different ethnic origins with an exuberant nonchalance for styling norms.

For me, the circular atrium is the most outstanding achievement of form. The entire structure is designed to carefully and strategically manipulate light to create drama. Octagonal windows are embedded into the atrium’s concrete walls to replicate a kaleidoscope. The resulting effect allows natural light to cast magical reflections, that vary across the day, upon the interiors. Xavier further asserts “when you choose the right scale, music sounds beautiful”.

I can’t imagine the brilliance of sound Corbero has crafted into his home, but can wholeheartedly say that, visually, this estate takes my breath away.

Corbero intends to include a boutique hotel on his estate in the future. Book. Me. In!

 

The Labyrinth Home of Xavier Corbero | Yellowtrace

The Labyrinth Home of Xavier Corbero | Yellowtrace

The Labyrinth Home of Xavier Corbero | Yellowtrace


[Photography by Jerome Galland, courtesy of AD France. Video by Albert Moya, courtesy of NOWNESS.]

 

About The Author

Sally Klopper
Contributor

Sally is an interior designer and director of Sally Caroline - a design studio specialising in luxury residences. Her practice seeks to redefine the importance of ‘home’ by crafting spaces that consciously support every day routines, whilst being emphatic of her client’s style. For Sally, a truly great interior must be both beautiful in form, and genius in function. When not absorbed in interiors, Sally spends half her weeks on the coast in Blairgowrie, mothers her beautiful Hungarian Viszla, dreams about her next travel destination, writes her own blog, and voraciously hunts unique or vintage treasures. An entrepreneur and an avid design aficionado, Sally is always working on multiple ventures. Most recently, Sally launched an e-course, Open Studio, where interiors enthusiasts can learn how to design luxury residences as she does.

Leave a Reply