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House by Cadaval & Sola-Morales in Catalonia, Spain

Thu, Jun 24, 2010

Cottage Home

How good would you feel if you have a small cottage house in the wood where you can escape from the heat of summer and accommodate to the fireplace in winter? The owners of this home chose Spanish architects Cadaval & Sola-Morales to create  a comfortable second residence. The old vernacular stone house in the Pyrenees was transformed into two houses.

The project elaborates on the physical connections between these two homes coexisting in a single rehabilitated envelope. The programmatic scheme and the interrelations of spaces of both houses are tided up to these vertical connections. What qualifies those spaces, however, is unique in each unit. The roof on the top unit is build up to be a sculptural yet neutral continuous element that resolves space, lighting, and views. A human scale continuous linear window faces amazing views over the valley, while an identical window located on the top of the roof, enables to view the summit of the mountain. In the lower unit, a wide and off-scale opening will focus light, views, and therefore activity on an interior-exterior space.

The project is sympathetic of vernacular architecture by respecting not only the envelope, but also its construction and operational logics and its esthetics. By preserving the envelope and doing a minimal yet contrasted intervention, the idea is to reinforce the historical values of vernacular architecture. Moreover, the project is design to be sustainable. New technologies and old vernacular knowledge are implemented to make the Pyrenees houses two sustainable houses in an extreme climate.

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