House 1311 by HARQUITECTES



Adrià Goula




Castelldefels, Spain
A Peruvian Pepper. At one side of the plot, there was a splendorous evergreen tree. Nearby, the border to one of the neighbours was fully covered by a bougainvillea and other climbing plants. Creating a very pleasant place and full of character, the only preserved space of an old kindergarten. In this same area, there was another trees, several bushes and a little palm tree.
The rest of the plot was almost desert except for some vegetation coming from the neighbours.
Located in a low density neighbourhood, next to the centre of Castelldefels, where the majority of the constructions are much older and have developed leafy gardens.
The intervention tries to encourage the existing elements such as the fences and the bordering vegetation, including some bushes, climbing plants and a Peruvian Pepper, located in the south-East half of the plot.
The house is organized in relation to this perimeter, especially around the wonderful Pepper and building only a ground floor, always being above the tree at a human scale.
The garden embraces the house becoming part of it. Therefore, the organization of the house stablishes the relationship with the garden.
The predominance of the Pepper and other neighbour evergreen trees, protects the house from the solar radiation during the winter. After analysing the solar incidence, we concluded that the best option was to get the radiation through the roof. Just like that, appeared the two main characteristic spaces of the house: the living room and the studio, thanks to the punctual inclination of the roof with large windows, giving natural sunlight during the winter and cross ventilation during the summer.
Those spaces, a part from its bioclimatic potential, are the ones that organize the rest of the house, determining the circulations and relationships between the spaces. Around the living room and the fireplace, are the kitchen, a bathroom, and the piano room. Whereas around the studio, are the rooms and a second bathroom.
From those central spaces, we can get a visual connection with the exterior through the roof or through the satellite rooms creating a sequence of different qualities and light intensities, filtering the perception from the interior to the exterior. Those factors change during the day, giving each space its own richness and character.
The rotation of one of the rooms, interrupts the continuity of the façade, breaks the patio sequence and allows the access of the garden inside the house. There is the entrance of the house, the transition between the inside and the outside, patio and hall at the same time. A place with a special identity, opposed to the materiality and proportions of the rest of the rooms. The central spaces, the living room and the studio, share the same finish as the façade, whereas the rooms and the kitchen have a more conventional and continuous.
The double-cross organization of the building, a part from making possible a centrality of the main spaces, reinforces the independency of each room so that each one of them develops a different relationship with the garden. The disunited form, resulting in a large façade, makes each room to be almost a single box inside the garden. From the exterior, the fragmented garden also is divided in a several single green spaces, like a second house. In fact, this second house, is the best of both, between the walls and the boxes, under the shadow of the Pepper. As if the whole house should be at its mercy.
The thick box-walls solve in one action the structure and the thermic behaviour, so we cannot make a difference between the façade, from the structure or the internal divisions. One wall, being bended and unbended, creating the distributions of the house with a single trace of a ceramic light brick (Poroton-Planziegel T-10, de Wienerberger) 30cm thick giving great thermic results. The simplicity of the solution allows a passive regulation of the hygrothermic exchange between the interior and the exterior, as a guarantee of the levels of comfort around the year.
The wall is organized horizontally, so that a lighter brick is used in the areas where the thermic needs are not so severe.
Above this wall, the roof is flat, only interrupted by the inclination in the central spaces with a light materiality, which on the other hand, covers those spaces with a strong concrete protection. The finishing with a slight reflection, acts as a better diffusion of the natural light, and shows the green of the exterior vegetation, reaching a certain dematerialization of the roof, giving a presence of the big tree to the interior of the house.

Text provided by the architect

THE TREE MAG – The Fruits of Ideas