Architects: Irisarri + Piñera / Jesús Irisarri Castro & Guadalupe Piñera
Location: Pontevedra, Spain
Structural Collaborator: Antonio Reboreda Martínez
Technical Architect: Sandra Valverde
Concrete & Structure: CHS – Construcciones Hnos. Sanz S.L.
Domotic: Indomotika Sistemas y Comunicaciones, S.L.
Project year: 2004-2006
Photographs: Manuel Gonzalez Vicente, Jesús Irisarri & Angel Baltanás
Our first to the site-deep and narrow, on a steep slope, suspended above the estuary and the distant ocean horizon, with Vigo city below-led to a desire to maintain the commanding views of the landscape at the entrance level and make the house itself the means to descend from this situation to the allotment´s base level, with all the nuances brought into view by these different heights. The owners, like so many others in the course of history, have chosen a place to settle. Now, the architects mediate in their relationship with the place.
This is a building which qualifies the way you see and feel the surroundings and the distant landscape from each space. Unlike previous cases where we have allowed other superimposed architectures to arise from the users´ action, designing scenarios with a great capacity for transformation, here there is only one architecture, and it is the scenario that opens up the inhabitants´ lives to the world.
A sheet of concrete folds back like a shell from its base in the form of a retainer wall, shaping a volume which, when emptied, provides a range from recessed areas, through intermediate sequences that can be penetrated by the natural environment, to a final space which juts out with the dominating view out to the distant horizon, giving the owners back the slow gaze across the estuary that made them choose this place to live. The shell form contains the brief and at the same time resolves the structure, the planes that channel the water and the different scales that shape the spatial diversity inside.
The land-based part of the programme holds the considerable storage requirements of the produce from the earth, a spatial continuum that forms the courtyard stamped into the volume, for direct contacts with the nature of the place, while also rising and distancing itself from the earth in the manner of a lookout to provide an independent, personal place.