g house front exterior

In the lovely green Mediterranean setting of El Sauzal, Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands, the G House from architect Esaú Acosta nestles into a cozy spot between the mountains and the sea.The G House was built on a small 6.5 meter wide plot of land in an area where there are no legal limits on the size and shape of homes – meaning that it had to be squeezed in between existing irregular plots.

g house canary islands

stacked volumes

However, the lack of horizontal space wasn’t a hindrance to the architect. He simply built down a bit, then very carefully arranged each element of the home to provide maximum space and maximum privacy. Three stacked volumes of different lengths hold – from the ground up – the entrance courtyard/garage, living/dining areas, and sleeping quarters.

stairway leading to interior courtyard

entrance courtyard

The home revolves around two courtyards. One is an inner space where “winter” activities such as cooking and dining take place. The other is a semi-enclosed green courtyard that provides a comfortable transition from outdoors to indoors. A simple concrete feature wraps around the narrow first floor balcony to partially shield the home’s interior living area from the eyes of passing pedestrians.

first floor g house


Using only local materials, Acosta created a story told in glass, wood, and concrete. At the home’s entrance, smooth glass and green vegetation are light and summery. A concrete exterior is modern yet inviting, with the added benefit of providing natural thermal inertia. The wood-clad interior courtyard invites in natural light and provides a cozy gathering space for friends and family.

interior courtyard

rooftop green space

A hidden surprise greets visitors who venture to the very top of the concrete stairs: a small green roof with a sliding horizontal door. Ringed by a simple chain-link fence, the green space is the perfect spot to spend a warm summer day marveling at the breathtaking surroundings.