Architects: Lagula Arquitectes
Location: Graugés (Avià), Barcelona, Spain
Client: Queralt Sales, Xavier Planas
Project Architects: Lagula Arquitectes SLP, Toni Alonso, Martín Ezquerro, Ignacio López, Manel Morante y Marc Zaballa
Collaborators: Eduard Reus, structures; Jordi Culell, Engineer
Area: 412 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Lagula Arquitectes
Walking through the fields of Graugés, a landscape of gentle hills in the valley between the Catalan Central Depression and the Pre-Pyrenees, we find two lakes and discover a trace. A ravine crosses the territory diagonally, an artificial ravine that is crystallized in concrete and brick. Xavi and Queralt undertake the design and the deed defines the terrain.
To walk with them for years, following the design, a wall. The rooms, the auxiliary bodies, the pool, the garden, and the orchard, surround the wall and make up the house. The ground is shifted to model future familiar topographies of children pedaling down the interior access ramp. The first element of the spiral that makes up the house and addresses the natural terrain is the ramp. The second elements are the kitchen and dining room at the landing of the ramp. The third are a turn, five steps and the living room open to the dining room and the garden. The fourth element is the main bedroom. The fifth elements are a turn, and five steps over the access ramp, a bedroom. The sixth are the final five steps and two other bedrooms over the kitchen.
To try to capture the evening light under a roof, diligently inclined to avoid offending the local authorities eager for traditional color Moorish tiles, while kneeling with dignity toward the street, the least disturbing to the passerby, and accumulating the volume to the garden. The house grows to the back, gracefully covered along the discovered line.
Looking from top to bottom and from bottom to top, to be able to touch the concrete ceiling with hand and head, the height expands and contracts to define the public spaces and to enclose the more private. The scale is adjusted to the various situations that arise along the path.
To build the house as a hierarchic process was also useful for our design, adding processes and elements. A powerful and decisive concrete structure was necessary to support the outer skin and win the war in the first battle. Add the rest and close the shelter: brick lattice, carpentry on one side and shutters on the other.
Inside, the concrete is expressed on screens and on the ceiling, as opposed to vertical bands of pristine plaster. The spaces are delimited with free bodies, almost as obstacles on the ascending path. Cheerful bodies clad in brightly colored glazed ceramic dot the space and contain the service rooms.