This house by Spanish architect Daniel Isern looks like a cluster of concrete cubes, stacked up on a steep hillside on the outskirts of Barcelona.
The rural site faces out towards the coast, so Daniel Isern designed the four-storey residence with balconies and terraces on three of its floors, as well as a pair of glazed sunrooms.
The form of the building comprises overlapping volumes that integrate several cantilevers. Isern explains: "The reduced dimensions of the plot and the desire to leave the minimum imprint on the land led us to seek out a floor plan which, matching the trees that surround it, emerges from a trunk well anchored to the land and opens up in branches on each floor."
The entrance to the house is on the uppermost floor. There are no rooms at this level, so residents work their way downstairs to find a living room and bedroom on the next level down, a dining room below that and a master bedroom on the bottom floor.
A concrete walls extends out from the north and south sides of the house and integrates a storage area for firewood.
Other concrete houses from Spain to feature on Dezeen include a stark building with richly stained timber shutters and an X-shaped house that hangs over a hillside. See more houses in Spain.
Photography is by Adrià Goula.
Here's a statement from Daniel Isern:
Mediterrani 32, Sant Pol de Mar 2012
"For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life - the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value." Claude Monet.
The project for this house emerged from a very simple premise, to build on a very steep piece of land with a gradient of almost 100%, boasting wonderful views and on a tight budget. It was this highly complicated plot of land, surrounded by pine trees, that defined a good part of this project. The land, and its perspectives, constantly changing as the hours pass, the colour of the trees, the movement of sun and shadows...
On the one hand, the reduced dimensions of the plot and its complex orography, and on the other the desire to leave the minimum imprint on the land led us to seek out a floorplan which, matching the trees that surround it, emerges from a trunk well anchored to the land and opens up in braches on each floor, in such a way that each branch becomes the terrace of the upper level at the same time as it becomes the porch of the lower one.
All this helps create a very formal building, with huge cantilevers facing out to emptiness, the woods and the sea which lie before it. A structure which opens up to these views and the sun, and which thanks to the terraces and the porches confuse the interior with the exterior. A building which is equally formal in both its volume and the materials which compose it. Concrete, iron, timber and stone combining in a way that emphasises the character of each one. In the end, the whole building represents a dialogue between emptiness and fullness, between materials, between outside and inside; seeking out a balance between these highly contrasting parts.
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