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Refurbishment of a country house

Refurbishment of a country house

Girona, Spain | View Map
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Private Houses
©José Hevia

Refurbishment of a country house

ARQUITECTURA-G as Architects

A country house located in the outskirts of a village in Empordà ( natural and historical region in Catalonia, Spain) where the big country houses surrounded by fields and fruit gardens contrast to the detached houses proper for the village urban tissue. The multiple extensions that were carried out in the existing house turned out in a tedious configuration with innumerable rooms without convenient light and ventilation. The project starts by fusing the volume using an existing patio in the first floor and opening a new one in the second. The last one opens two large spaces in the centre of the house that are conceived as the entrance hall and the swimming pool. Only the main structure and the exterior wall envelope of the building are maintained. The main spatial strategy tends to interconnect the spaces and open them up to the exterior introducing new courtyards and windows. New circulations are added to enhance the labyrinthine character of the house, providing a complexity that paradoxically improves the use of the house.

All the new steel structure is based on the rhythm of a series of 100x100mm steel columns that are repeated in different parts. The new structure, as well as the new doors and window frames, are painted burgundy to easily make the distinction between what is new and what was already there. The volumes of stone and broken white colour give a neutral image where the materials play a crucial role in the spatial arrangement. The brown glazed coloured tile is the common thread that accompanies the inhabitant generating continuous surfaces that connect different spaces visually. The texture of the restored old authentic ceramic bricks contrasts with the neat reflection of the new material.

Generally, our main design strategy is to use and reuse only local materials and work mainly with local producers in order to establish a strong continuity between tradition and the contemporary intervention. For that reason, we have focused on applying design solutions that always include and respect the specificity of the typical local materiality. At the end, the result is a house where one could live without the need to leave it. The landscape floods the interior through the windows and an inner labyrinth of rooms and courtyards sets off spaces to work, eat, rest, read, swim ...

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