Text description provided by the architects. Two Houses and Two Families
In the centre of a town near Barcelona and in a location initially occupied by orchards, two sisters with their respective families have built two semidetached house. The project proposes a single body with slight volumetric differences between the two houses. These are articulated through a central courtyard inside that works as a skylight and ventilation chimney.
In the two houses, the interior is related to the location of outdoor spaces; on the ground floor, Garden-oriented South is related to the living rooms, on the first floor the games-rooms are linked to a garden with allotments, and on the ground under-covered two individual terraces are related to the principal rooms. The different external areas are connected physically and visually from the axis of the houses, the central courtyard.
The formalization of the final volume is solved with a traditional cement finish painted in white, which gives the whole the character of the site. The project proposes two openings types; the traditional ones that gives a direct input light, and the second ones, which are made with ceramic lattices to filter the light and the solar radiation. These filters that were also painted in white, create a unified image throughout the volume and gives the building a tectonic appearance.
Relationship of the Programme
The program's needs are very similar between the two sets. The two families, wanted a living room, a kitchen large enough to accommodate the dining, two rooms for children, a study or games room, a bedroom suite, and a garage. In one of them, and for professional requirements, they wanted to incorporate a space soundproofed to perform music.
Implementation of Active Energy Saving Systems
The house was thought based on different criteria to be self-sufficient and to save energy, inlcuding:
Obtain all the energy required for hot water and under-floor heating through biomass boiler.
se a system of under-floor heating (more energy efficient and with better comfort),
Place a deposit for reuse rainwater, and create a system to recover grey water.
Climatic Passive Measures
The characteristic element of the project is the courtyard that runs the two houses. The courtyard allows cross ventilation in all rooms, and works as a chimney, dissipating the summer heat to the outside and allowing the entry of fresh air. The houses also include different constructive systems to save energy as the ventilated facade and the filtered openings with lattices.
The entire facade is made with a double wall that generates a Chamber of air ventilated. This chamber is regulated with openings in the deck to allow the circulation of the air and improve the climate comfort. Finally the lattice, a typical Mediterranean construction element, allows the visual opening to the outside and in the same time controls the input of solar radiation.