Viladecavalls is located on a small raised hill in Vallès area that makes that it has a dominant position to the territory. Located in an urban area with a garden city configuration and a dispersed and very heterogeneous architecture, the plot is behind the village and facing the landscape without any obstacle in front that can cover the view towards the territory.
The project tries to incorporate the limit situation in which it is. On one side the village, isolated houses, urbanization. On the other side the landscape, the territory, the views towards Montserrat mountain. This duality builds the house geometry, its situation within the plot and the typology adopted.
The house dialogues with the traditional architecture and is inspired by the traditional Catalan houses on the other side of the valley. Like the architecture of the Masia, made by addition of elements, the house is formed by four perfect squares, each different size which respond to the needs of the program that is requested and to the required structural and climatic needs. These squares respond to this landscape-urbanization duality. Its position follows the guidelines that mark the geometry of the site, but at the same time opens it to the views. In this way concave and convex zones are generated around the house that enrich the interstitial spaces of the plot avoiding residual spaces.
With this desire to be reflected in catalan popular architecture and to respond to the area typologies, each of the volumes that form the house has a sloping roof that, diagonally to the structure and responding to the constructive logic, drains to the most optimal area away from the other volumes.
Finally, the house is built with wood frame structure for two reasons. On the one hand, the low quality terrain required a house as light as possible and on the other hand this solution allowed us to act with criteria of sustainability and high energy efficiency in the facades, making this a very comfortable place to live, so in winter and in summer almost no active air conditioning systems are needed to reach high levels of comfort.
The project works on a house whose type is very common in the city. This type of construction is between 4 and 5 meters wide, two or three floors, is very deep and usually have a small courtyard. The state of the building when we accepted the commision was crumbling, the roof was partially demolished and much of the floors were affected by pathologies caused by water coming through the roof.
We proceeded to use the parts of the building in good condition as the main facade, the vertical structure of the slabs and beams supporting the roof. Thus, we used the existing to establish the main strategy. We started building new floors and moved them from their original position. It allowed us building a central void that solved many of the requirements that both the house and the inhabitants demanded.
From this point the rest is faced with an attitude of maximum respect. Light materials and prefabricated building systems were used. The massive use of wood in both the structure and finishes tried to establish a point of coherence with traditional building systems that we are in, and that are so common in the architecture of the area.
The island of La Palma is home to the most important astronomical observatory in the Northern Hemisphere as it has one of the clearest skies in the world. Its geographical location, weather patterns and regulation on light pollution make this island a unique area.
Thus, the different resources that distinguish popular architecture are transferred to the intervention but with a contemporary take on them. The pitched roofs on each of the new modules are a nod to the pitched roofs of the colonial architecture of the different buildings around the square. The construction of the internal courtyards are clear references to the area's traditions and history. The use of a timber structure also acknowledges the old construction systems used throughout the whole neighbourhood.
To carry out the intervention in this style, timber is chosen for various elements of the project. The structure, which could not be built any other way given its geometry, is made of pre-fabricated pieces of cross laminated conifer from the Pyrenees. This material, in addition to its properties and sustainability, is a load-bearing element as well as an interior finishing. The timber is also used for all the interior and exterior joinery, kitchen furnishings, and doors retrieved from the existing building which can be reused in various areas of the house.
Finally, it’s worth pointing out that the choice of these pre-fabricated construction systems gives us greater control over work and costs. The technology used in the construction of this housing has allowed us to build a very energy efficient dwelling with extremely high technical quality standards and a deep respect for the heritage.
We had the opportunity to work in a blacksmith workshop to turn it into a home. Despite the need to completely change the configuration of space and structure we have tried to preserve the spirit of the workshop, the cranes, the light the systems and the materials.
The house is deep and narrow. The main parts are placed at the ends in the facades leaving a big light void in the middle. The project focuses on strengthening the relations between the inhabitants of the house through the introduction into this big void of a metal structure hanging different spaces which are suposed to maximize these relationships.
This superstructure is also hanging a spiral staircase that widens and tightens leading to these different indeterminate spaces to the top terrace. These spaces also cause the appearance of two interior facades treated in the same way as external that give some autonomy to each of the most private parts of the house.
This project is a clear example of how our study incorporates into project processes of what Smithson called "as found". The introduction of what we found as a rereading of what the place was once enriched the intervention along with the new inhabitants provide.
Proposed refurbishment of a dwelling in a building in Zaragoza built in the early 90. The aim of the intervention is to improve the relationships between all the pieces that will conform the house and answer to the needs of the clients who are just starting life together.
We propose a pattern that allows the insertion of furniture and diversify the distribution of the different spaces. These are distributed around the kitchen and are configured in similar areas. Thus, their use can change depending on the needs of the inhabitants. In this case, we believe that people's lives will change over time and the house should be able to easily adapt to these changes.