LocationCastello de la Plana, Spain
From the architect. The house is located on a lot of 1560 square meters, with a complex topography of steep slopes both in the longitudinal (north-south) and transversal (east-west) directions.
The strategy for the project is developed from two initial decisions:
- Locating the dwelling in the highest area (the least usable, a priori), where the slope is the steepest, to generate horizontal areas (habitable, usable) in the rest of the lot. In this way, the entire lot can be surveyed from the house, the relationship with the landscape is thus intensified, and the best natural ventilation is taken advantage of, which is important given the harsh climate especially in the summer.
- Delineating a street with reasonable slopes that traverses part of the lot, from its entrance to the garage, and crosses under the dwelling, producing a comfortable access and an ample shadow for the landscape.
The building, a simple volume, fits into the mountain producing a direct relationship between each floor and the exterior. Two scales of approach are taken into consideration. The farther scale, in the landscape, is addressed with the volume on the ground floor and a more abstract image generated by the terrace which open towards the south providing protection from the sun. The nearer scale, further down the mountain, is where we perceive the top floor as a free perimeter building, an effect emphasized by landscaping the lower floor, producing a continuity with the immediate, manipulated environment.
The courtyards are laid out on different levels and interconnected through a diagonal visual line. In conjunction with adequate decisions regarding construction techniques, they collaborate in generating a positive reaction to this climate. They seek to optimize the relationship with the exterior, in spite of the planar dimensions required by the program. “Diaphragmatic” spaces are important in the project.
This location and massing respond to the conditions of the lot (surface, topography, orientation, access, views), to the desires of its future users, and to our preoccupation with inserting the house in an agreeable manner into a particular landscape.