The building is situated in residential development that is located a few kilometers from the sea line in the town of Castelldefels, very close to the city of Barcelona. Castelldefels sits on a large sand dune glued to the sea frequented all year by visitors avid for sun and beach. Urban planning of the immediate environment sets densities higher than desired, which means that relations between adjacent houses and even with the front edged line become somewhat uncomfortable, especially in contrast to the apparent and alleged isolation that confers the presence of an own outer space. To this particular plot was another small stumble of five stories in the form of a block of multi-family houses in the northeast, although a row of old poplars would deal with this issue. Understanding the place beyond the perimeter fences was not complicated as well as what was to be achieved. Clearing how should be made.
The proportion and dimensions of the plot, assumedly urban in spite of the siren chants of the adjacent lawns, contrasted with the programmatic demand, forced a first volumetric layout where basically a long wall and a long facade were established parallel to the street, both with south component orientation, through which would pass almost all the relations that the building would establish with its surroundings beyond its own limits. We begin to work on this kind of parapet and see how it could deal with the exterior beyond the specific thickness to which the functions linked to the basic requirements of isolation are entrusted.
It is decided to wrap the house with a grid of large format pieces. This perimeter wrapper does not coincide with the apertures, which find their place changing plane.
Another way for the gaps to find their place is through the formation of patios or terraces, appearing as subtracted volumes introducing somehow the idea of "fortress”. As the house approaches the part of the lot with the best sun conditions the perimeter wrapping is unraveling, it forms a sort double scale lattice where some pieces are rejected and others are properly the filters. There is also a respectable cantilever, without any dramatic will, which is responsible for housing the porch linked to the living room and the pool, the perception of which will change depending on the usability of mobile lattice pieces. These movements will in turn modify the conditions of volumetry and tectonicity. In this way, I like to think that if the house finds its place in the neighborhood, it is partly thanks to picking up the contradictoriety of the place. It may be that a building without a clear formal expression is also somewhat contradictory.
The story telled of accomplished facts often begin its writing from the end, because also in architecture, first intuitions become realities having passed through processes that have to do with culture or decisions initially in charge of truly addressing the problem, adopt merely secondary roleslimited to a physical plane. We were talking about the old poplars on the back façade. They are tall trees of deciduous leaf that in spring and summer become very populated. These leaves receive solar radiation from early in the morning until just before noon. When the rays of light cross the first leaves that stand in their way, they project a perfectly defined flat shadow on the posterior facade, but in turn, behave as a convergent lens as a dark camera that generates a new projection of the other leaves, and so on. It produces a different resolution complex projection where the leaf is both light and obstacle.
Inside there is a space containing kitchen, dining room and living room, as well as a guest room, laundry room and a small toilet. The staircase is very close to the exit to the porch and leads to a "children's package" formed by a games room from which you access both bedrooms and a bathroom. All these pieces communicate with the outside by terraces within the built volume. The master bedroom above the cantilever is connected to his bathroom via the double space of the living room. The unfolding of the facade at this point allows the appearance of terraces around the entire room.
Constructively the building sits on a reinforced concrete slab just a few centimeters from the water table and will be practically the only element of the house manufactured with wet processes. From this slab starts a structure of rolled steel. This is responsible for the efforts linked to the existence of the cantilever, and constitutes a first disjointed skeleton in the absence of the appearance of the rest of structure composed of “C” galvanized steel profilesassembled by screws. The enclosures are also dry made by layers, as well as the ventilated façade of wood and cement composed panels. The construction system has made possible closing the works in a very short time.