Family Dwelling In Cabrera De Mar: Barcelona

by Daniel Haim

Formal and conceptual simplicity, two prisms placed one above the other, with a slightly displaced movement of the top prism, creating an immense overhang and an interior fissure. This is the basis for beginning to understand the concept behind this dwelling.

The dwelling consists of basement, ground floor and first floor, with the peculiarity that the entrance is on the first floor, with the result that the dwelling is partially buried.

Located on a plot of land with astonishing views, the shape and orientation of each and every one of the openings have been studied and molded in an attempt to merge exterior and interior, eliminating corners and even, as in the ground-floor lounge, getting rid of the corner altogether and replacing it with a large plate-glass French window that, when opened, eliminates the barrier between the interior and exterior of the dwelling and provokes an overwhelming sensation of the weightlessness of the upper volume, hanging suspended above the void. These openings are emphasized by gable overhangs that, as well as serving as louvers also helps to define the two prisms and to visually frame the exterior views as if they were pictures.

The layout program is the reverse of the usual case, with the garage on the first floor, on the exterior of the house, while the studio is inside it. Access to the ground floor is by way of a stairway, built into the gap that opens out as a result of the displacement of the top volume, and leading down to the main volume, which contains the kitchen, living room and bedrooms. The basement floor contains the cellar.

The two floors are articulated around a large double space, linked by the stairway and by glazed corridors that bring the two volumes together while, at the same time, concealing them.

The materials used also contribute to a reading of the two volumes, the lower one presenting a warmer aspect, with the use of phenolic resins, while the upper volume is finished in immaculate white limestone cladding.