Surfaces of all kinds are top of mind these days, so we decided to look at all aspects of them, in these articles, from A to Z.

Thinking of surfaces less as a product category and more as a framework, we use them as a lens for understanding the designed environment. Surfaces are sites of materials innovation, outlets for technology and science, and embodiments of standards around health and sustainability, as well as a medium for artists and researchers to explore political questions.

In Dénia, a coastal city in the Alicante province of Spain, the architect Carles Faus Borràs designed a modern country house—a rectilinear, two-story volume that blurs the boundary between indoors and out in the balmy Mediterranean climate. A large outdoor terrace, facing a pool, frames an opening into the double-height living space.

But the stacked structure’s uniform color palette is what gives it its monumentality. The project is “a large white canvas,” says the architect. “White is a generator and driver of light.” The muted, uniform facade is made from a lime aggregate that wraps the reinforced concrete structure like stucco and protects it.