ar2 house 

SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSE IN VILADRAU

The design of this single-family house is driven by the sloped condition of the site, the southern orientation, and the amazing vistas to the moun- tains. The house unfolds from east to west, parallel to the street, in order to open to the vistas and to face the garden in front of the dwellings.

The building contains two different levels, taking advantage of the natural slope of the terrain and the different height between the site’s main platform and the street access. The house remains almost hidden from the street, just a one-story volume emerging from the fence. Once you enter the site, however, the house is seen as a two-story volume.
The house divides the plot into two different gardens: a more open south lawn garden, to be seen from the house, and a north paved one, more enclosed and connected to the street. The contact between these two spaces happens through a covered porch, an extension of the house, a threshold space between inside and outside, and through an interior space transparent to both open spaces.

The house volume is understood as a dialog between two similar-sized boxes, with single pitch sloped roofs. One rests on the natural ground line, and the other one stands on a concrete wall that extends to contain the natural terrain and to display a rooftop garden. At the intersection between the volumes a gap acts as a hinge. In the ground floor the space at the intersection allows transparency between both outdoor sides. In the upper floor space is carved out to generate a balcony where the facade sets back to align with the plinth that holds it suspended. In these spaces of intersection the materials change from concrete or stuco to wood in order to achieve a more delicate and domestic look.

The two volumes open to the vistas and clearly separate the day and night activities, leaving space in between, fissures to permeate and con- nect with the landscape. The visual relationship between the inside and outside is produced in these gaps, spaces that allow people to be in both sides at the same time. On the ground floor, the entrance hall, placed in the inflection between volumes, acts as a hinge between the day and night areas. The pavement reinforces the continuity between the interior and the exterior, spreading out to the garden like a carpet.

The ‘day area’ is hosted in a regular and almost squared plan, in a single volume with a roof that extends to define a porch. Inside, a sunken living room keeps the eye focused on the ground level garden, a kind of ‘infinity’ garden, creating a ‘pouring’ effect between the immediate landscape (the lawn) and the distant one (the mountain). The kitchen, between two walls, is half-open with a counter that extends into the dining room, creating a unique sense of space. The ‘night area,’ the sector that calls for more privacy, occupies most of the ground floor, with access to the first floor through an interior staircase and a ramp to the upper garden from the exterior.

The materiality plays an important role in the dialogue between volumes. The concrete plinth textured with wooden slates formwork, present a slight set back to place the wooden window shutters when open. The wooden striped shutters show the same pattern as the concrete but with different directionality to talk similar languages. The prefab concrete pavement around the pool also shares the same wooden pattern.
The pool in the garden, which faces the slope, is attached to one of the stone containing walls of the terraces, both reminiscent of agricultural elements. The color of the rusty corten-steel railings and fences of the garden and the copper roofs play along to contrast with the predominant green.