Architects: Joaquín Alvado Bañón
Location: Orihuela, Alicante, Spain
Structural Engineer: Miguel Angel Crespo
Collaboration: Vicente Castillo and Miguel Rodenas
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: David Frutos, Courtesy of Joaquín Alvado Bañón
From the architect. It is a Project that research the relation between architecture and water. We discuss the concept of a private swimming pool with a single house in a low density program in the city. It is a rethinking, in a sustainable way of life, to transform the way of promoting the east side of Spain.
Dissolving the limits of the city. The city is transformed into architecture; the streets become ramps and water. Architecture twists and turns seeking nature, it looks towards the mountains of Orihuela, and it pokes out above its limitations. It is difficult to differentiate its limits, it is a city but also a landscape, it is a private space but at the same time it takes over a public space of the street. The built parts are reflected and fragmented through the use of reflex glass in the steel carpentries.
Three personalities and one environment formally, these are three independent volumes fused into one project. Each volume has its own personality and privacy. The meeting points between the parts are made by horizontal and vertical stairs, a “Y” bridge and double heights favoring expected and unexpected relationships. Semi-private and private places for meeting are intertwined as in life itself.
A pool within the house. There is a pool along the entrance, it is the heart of the project, and it creates an opening and makes the space vibrate in its environment. It swims across the house, crosses the “Y” bridge, illuminates and moistens house’s architecture. Water redefines the house, it isn’t a house with a pool, it is a house and it is a pool. The reflections, brightness and shades are the material used for building the interior space. The pool is not only something essential in the house, but it is the house.
The bridge is an entrance. The entrance is a bridge that crosses the pool. The steel and glass bridge serves to connect the layouts of the house. The “Y” shape is divided in a horizontal element and another inclined one (stairs). It is an undetermined connection that makes and undoes the ground floor plan. The transitions in the interior float over the orange pool, which is an acid, sweet and wet pleasure.
The plot is a volume. We didn’t want the work of the project to be based on square meters; we worked with atmospheres since we considered the plot as a volume. Throughout the whole process we sought surroundings, environments, experiences. Coming in and out, waking up in the morning, night time, eating, bathing… occurs inside and outside, between the built area and the exterior. This has been one of the greatest achievements.
Structural and constructive research. The process was long and exciting. Floating, tightening, leaning, connecting… these are words that came up when thinking about how to resolve the technicalities. The shape exists but one must find it in those processes, it is unknown but it is there. The inflection point is the multidisciplinary work. The result is an approach that tries to determine a program and its relationship with the city.