21-Nov-2016 A HOUSE BORN FROM THE MOUNTAIN A mountain landscape, with big stone retaining walls, is the origin of the design of the layout of this house. Located in a housing state in Sagunto, Valencia, at the base of the Calderona Range, the Paz & Comedias House is fully integrated with its environment by reusing the red sandstone, extracted while opening the foundations, in the masonry walls.
“The house is rooted to the ground and becomes tectonic, thus merging into the landscape”
“Using the resources that are at hand is a natural response when you face a design” Ramón Esteve
Thus, the walls that arrange the spaces are parallels to each other and perpendicular to the mountain slope. Together with the stone, this merges the house with the landscape. Wide glass panes encloses the stone walls, allowing total transparency between the mountain and the valley and emphasising the massiveness of the walls.
“A watchtower of really warm and natural red sandstone”
Eastwards, the views become wider towards the sea. On this façade, the main element is the balcony of the main bedroom. A balcony that hangs really high, offering a great feeling of weightlessness and broad views of the landscape.
“Details enhance the idea behind the design” Ramón Esteve
On the contrary, the western side of the house is limited by an intimate space, obtained by separating the house from the mountain. The stone walls work here as buttresses and create a courtyard that acts as a filter between the house and the landscape. This exterior space links the previous dwelling to its extension and becomes the lobby for the homeowner’s art gallery. Due to this, the most private parts of the house and its circulation are laid out in this zone.
Inside the house, the main feature is the fluid connection between spaces. The use of few materials and elements, such as the arrangement of the walls and the glass openings, contributes to a clear continuity between rooms. Grey Ulldecona stone is used for the pavement and also for the bathroom counters; the colour of the external carpentry made of laminated iroko wood tunes with the red sandstone walls; interior walls and furniture in white complete a quiet and fluid atmosphere.
Finally, a house where an exact use of colours and materials and a precise geometry are combined to form a great watchtower, subtly and austerely integrated into the landscape.
9-Nov-2012 Huge contention walls, built from a local red stone, come along as you climb up the mountain. When you arrive to the house these walls turn into structural plans that define the whole house and generate every space and main rooms of the house.
Willing to achieve a whole integration with the environment, the red stone is extracted directly from the mountain where the house will be placed and this stone is reused for the walls. Therefore the house deeply-rooted with the ground and the surroundings gets his tectonic character integrated with the landscape. The parallel walls layout perpendicular to the mountain forming all the spaces of the house, as said before these walls are completed with the windows built like glass walls from down to top limiting the space and allowing an ideal dialogue with the exterior.
The view at the head of the house is the valley that lay to the sea. The main bedroom is completed with a huge balcony suspended to the open space giving a panoramic view of the surroundings and a breathtaking sensation of weightlessness.
At the rear of the house we can access to an external quite place, a patio resulting of the separation of the house from the mountain. This patio links the house with the old house; we can consider the new hose as an extension of the original house and the link a hall to the art gallery situated at the gardens of the house. To this patio, limited between the house and the mountain, lays all the private rooms of the house as an opposite to the rest of the rooms laid to the open spaces of the valley.
The impression of the lack of limits between the exterior and interior of the house is mainly due to the massive glass windows and the height of the ceilings. There is a smooth and fluent connection between the internal rooms encouraged by continuity of the materials between rooms, this communication is stressed by the reduction of these materials to the minimum.