La cas del Cantó
Milena Villalba

La cas del Cantó

Piano Piano Studio as Architects

The project object was to build a house in an elongated corner in a somewhat complicated plot, where the future house would have to learn to live with two party walls: a large one on the east border, and another one with more proportioned dimensions on its north face. In this way the resulting space where to build the house would look west on its longest facade and towards the south on the shortest one.

photo_credit Milena Villalba
Milena Villalba

These questions of orientation and adjoining volumetric, which we don’t choose, because they are given by the place where the plot is located, are a key concept in every architecture project. They are essential to understand from where and how will the project develop. They are invariable and help us not to act on a white canvas, and to have something to start the project with.

photo_credit Milena Villalba
Milena Villalba

The client’s wishes, who had thought a lot about this dream house, were based on three main elements: a large terrace to enjoy the pleasant winters in Valencia, a more sheltered and fresh patio, and a large interior space, where life in the house and daily chores will be developed.

photo_credit Milena Villalba
Milena Villalba

It is a luck when a client talks about domestic roles, rather than predefined forms, about sensitive issues rather than materials.But then these wishes had to become real. The elongated shape of the corner plot might suggest the construction of this house, as it has usually been done with this kind of house in the villages of L’Horta, that is, two pieces separated by a patio. The highest main part, which hosted the own housing uses, next to the corner and a smaller construction at the end, which was used as warehouse.

photo_credit Milena Villalba
Milena Villalba

But we decided to change this order… we built a higher volumetric at the north, which reminded us at the village house, with a gabled roof. We kept the central courtyard, but we also made another one, smaller and hidden. Towards the south, we built another part which, on a garage in the ground floor, is a terrace in the first floor. Its volumetry ends with a false facade required by law, done in a lattice way, that will allow to enjoy our warm temperatures.

photo_credit Milena Villalba
Milena Villalba

The access to the house is made from a crack in the center of the long facade, so that when you cross it, it takes your view to a patio. A patio which is taken as another room of the house, as an extension of the open area where to share the day with the others.

photo_credit Milena Villalba
Milena Villalba

At the right side of the patio there is the private life, which is also linked to a smaller and hidden patio with a fruit tree.Inside, a linear stair under one of the gabled roofs, takes us to the upper floor: a large space, which will be open or partitioned, but always a flexible space. And the terrace at the end.

photo_credit Milena Villalba
Milena Villalba

The terrace remains hidden from the outside thanks to a brick lattice, which lets enjoy the breeze in the corner avoiding the sun rays. And repeat domestic uses: a barbecue night with friends under the breeze of a vine, a refreshing shower in summer or outdoor cinema on the party wall.

photo_credit Milena Villalba
Milena Villalba

At the end, it is a house which looks inwards looking for the courtyards, but at the same time it is connected to everything around it. This house wants to be vernacular. It is aware of the environment and the field, it uses local materials, repeating volumetric forms and rhythms in the facade, which are similar to the adjacent houses. But at the same time, it is aware of its contemporariness, but transformed into something more restrained and controlled.

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