- Design Team:Karl Johan Nyqvist, Laura Guitart, Noelia de la Red, Mario García, Marina Miró, Mira Botseva, Jennifer Méndez
- Engineering:Laura Guitart
- Collaborators:Juan Mora SA, Gaimo SL
- Lead Architects:Alicia Casals
- City:Es Mercadal
Text description provided by the architects. The house is located in Coves Noves, on the northeast part of Minorca island, Spain, on a plot of 2600 sqm. The whole urbanization is built on a slope which gives each house a breathtaking sea view. However this specific plot, located on the top, also has a beautiful view towards Monte Toro, the highest mountain on the island. This inland view is moreover protected from further developments since it is classified as a protected green area.
The program from the client included 5 bedrooms, a garage, a pool and a strong wish of being able to enjoy both the sea and the mountain landscapes. In response to this requirement, we created a long platform which was quickly nicknamed “the catwalk” and which would connect both views. This platform was conceived as an outdoor space which would house the most important common areas (living and dining room) and could when necessary be protected from the wind through invisible sliding windows. In effect, the house was planned as a summer house in a local climate where people spend most of their time outdoors.
Además, la pasarela, elemento lineal de hormigón, crea una clara división entre la zona de día y de noche. A ambos lados de la misma, una retícula de 3x3m organiza un conjunto de unidades pixeladas que contienen servicios y dormitorios; algunos de ellos con acceso directo a terrazas, jardín o patio. El romper el programa en unidades permitió evitar una imagen masiva e integrar la volumetría en el paisaje. La fusión entre arquitectura y naturaleza se enfatiza mediante un vacío que cruza la casa por debajo evitando bloquear conexiones visuales. La pasarela es un espacio abierto que se extiende en el paisaje con un porche en voladizo de 5m.
Moreover, this concrete linear element creates a split between the day and night area. On both sides of it, a 3x3m grid organizes an ensemble of pixelated units that contain services and bedrooms; some of them with balconies, others with direct access to the garden. Breaking down the program into smaller units made the house look less massive and more integrated into the landscape. This merging of architecture and nature is further emphasized with a void that crosses under the house and so avoids blocking visual connections. The catwalk stands in opposition to the intimate night and service areas, thus spreading out into the landscape with a 5m cantilever roof. It is also from here one can reach all the rooms and where much of the everyday life takes place without ever losing the connection between the two main views. On each side of the catwalk, there are large sliding doors that can completely open up the space and create a 28m long catwalk that in our initial project ended with an infinity pool towards the sea. To further enhance the openness of this space, the ceiling was raised so that more daylight would come in. A feeling of lightness was achieved through tangencies between volumes.
The feeling of lightness of the column-free roof is achieved through two 1,2m high steel vierendeel beams embedded in concrete which support themselves on hidden steel brackets. The apparent hovering of the roof together with the strict tangencies between all volumes give the impression of a balancing assembly of pixels following the natural terrain slope. Pixels hold each other by compression In order to keep construction costs under control, local simple materials such as concrete blocks and white plaster where used for the facade.