A Spanish stairway to heaven

LAST UPDATED: 2 Jan, 2012 @ 12:58
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A Spanish stairway to heaven

IT is set in some of the most stunning scenery in Andalucia with a stairway that appears to ascend to the heavens.

Now the iconic La Casa de Retiro Espiritual, built by renowned Argentine architect Emilio Ambasz, will feature in an exhibition in Madrid’s Reina Sofia Museum.

The unique design, in the Sierra Norte Natural Park, near Sevilla, boasts two 19 metre-high white walls meeting at a right angle with a steep staircase ascending to a lookout with views out across a lake.

“Ascending is a unique experience because of the handrail cut into the wall where water flows,” explained Ambasz, who is not shy about calling his design ‘a work of art.’

As the name suggests, the house, which has been built as a private residence on a stunning 600-hectare estate has been designed as a spiritual retreat.

It will now feature as part of the exhibition ‘Emilio Ambasz. Inventions: architecture and design,’ which showcases models, drawing, pictures and audiovisual material related to Ambasz’s most important works.

Known as a pioneer in ‘Green architecture,’ Ambasz places great importance on reconciling urban-planning needs with respect for the environment and ecological sustainability.

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