X House (2012) by Cadaval & Sola-Morales

X House (2012) by Cadaval & Sola-Morales

Located in Cabrils, Spain, X House (2012) by Cadaval & Sola-Morales | The Hardt

 

Located in Cabrils, Spain, X House (2012) by Cadaval & Sola-Morales. The X House project aims to solve by the definition of a system, language, or even through a unique form, a number of inquiries that rise up when we read the specific given site: how to protect and give protagonism to an impressive pine, that is located on the top of the site, and that makes access and approximation to the house extremely complex from the street; how to avoid deciding between the views to the sea and those to the mountains, and allow both visions in opposite directions; how to neutralize through form the presence of the contiguous constructions, to build up a fake isolation that denies the neighbours; how to double the main views, permitting quality frontal views from the front and the rear of the house; how to resolve so many a priories with a simple movement that answers to all of the previous aims without prioritizing nor explicitly formulating a response to any of them. The form, a unique form, is the result of a long process of search of individual answers to each of those challenges; thus, the form is not an a priori, but an effort to give a unitary response that satisfies each of the questions rose up in the design process.


The X House is also a constructive exploration: a technique regularly used for the infrastructural construction such as bridges and tunnels, is here developed to meet the architectural scale, aiming to incorporate efficiency, and reduction of costs to the construction. The use of a mixed technique based on the application of a high-density concrete allows projecting the material at a high pressure to a single-sided formwork, and to acquire high structural resistance in extremely short periods of time. Thus, it is possible to project continuous 6m high walls without the need to use a two-sided formwork (which would be the regular construction procedure). The house is, therefore, a living expression of the specific technique, and accumulates in its skin the diverse and continuous knowledge acquired within the process of construction.

 

 


The house is located on the upper part of a hill in Cabrils, in the outskirts of Barcelona. The site, with remarkable views and an important slope, is accessed from a single street located at the top of the site. The location of the house within the site responds to the aim to minimize excavation and optimize, within possible, the use of the non-occupied land. The access to the house is two meters depressed from the street, and the project searches to empathize through the use of blank walls the desire to be anchored in the site and to disappear from the street; the project clearly prioritizes the façades and views overseeing the valley. The house has two floors. The top floor, beyond incorporating a parking and allowing the access to the house, is conceived as a private suite of the owners: main room, with dresser and washroom/toilet, and spacious studio. In the lower floor, there is a clear distinction between the front and the rear of the house; the front part has a totally open and public nature, build up with a living area in a double high space next to a kitchen-dining room articulated around a significant marble table, 8m long. The rear part of the lower floor holds the rooms and service areas, which through the patios are given direct and protected views of the valley, the sea, and the mountain.


Mainly, the project of the X House uses the form to qualify spaces of very different nature and provide them with an individual character, always incorporating landscape as a main actor. Beyond the effective spatial arrangement at the front of the house, the views are the protagonist in each space. And learning from Dan Graham’s reflections, the image of the sea is always present when observing the mountain, and the mountain appears as a reflection when looking at the sea: a perceptive quality that enriches the experience of the house.

© Iwan Baan

 


 

 

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House D-Z by GRAUX & BAEYENS Architecten

House D-Z by GRAUX & BAEYENS Architecten

Located in Mullem, Oudenaarde, Belgium, House D-Z by GRAUX & BAEYENS Architecten | The Hardt

 

Located in Mullem, Oudenaarde, Belgium, House D-Z by GRAUX & BAEYENS Architecten. The 2,830 ft² (263 m²) house is situated on a narrow plot in combination with a very dense program (a home and a physiotherapist practice) resulted in a building that challenges the envelope of the planning regulations. The monolithic volume of the house is chopped up into smaller entities. By shifting the entities, the direct sunlight enters the house and different relationships occur within the house and its surroundings. The relationship with the surrounding plots has been optimized by the positioning of the windows. The right façade opens up to the green of the neighbors and the morning sun enters the living areas.

 

 

© Luc Roymans

 

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Ecork Hotel (2013) by José Carlos Cruz | The Hardt

Ecork Hotel (2013) by José Carlos Cruz | The Hardt

Ecork Hotel (2013) by José Carlos Cruz located in Evora, Portugal | The Hardt

 

Ecork Hotel (2013) by José Carlos Cruz located in Evora, Portugal. Ecork is a Hotel in Évora, Portugal, with a spa, health club, gym, restaurant, bar, conference rooms, outdoor pool and 56 bungalows. Built on a set of cork and olive trees, the general plan is inspired in the Medieval villages of the Alentejo, where it was common to find the main complex (Castle ) and several white buildings around it.

 

 

 


 

All services and hotel facilities are aggregated into a single building, freeing the land outside the bungalows. Influenced by the vernacular and Arabic architecture, is created a monolithic volume with small openings to the outside, which together with cork coating, fully recyclable, ensures the thermal protection of the building. Built around a large courtyard, the layout is designed so as to take advantage of crosswinds and air circulation, thus reducing power consumption to the minimum necessary.

 

 

 


 

In order to ensure the lowest possible occupation and overview of the Alentejo Landscape, outdoor pool and bar are located on the roof of the building. All 56 bungalows are suites. Their deployment, scattered among the olive trees around the property is defined by the structure of internal thoroughfares. These paths are read as a series of abstract volumes and surfaces, plastered and whitewashed.

 

 

© Fernando Guerra I FG+SG

 

 


 

 

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Restelo House (2016) by João Tiago Aguiar Arquitectos

Restelo House (2016) by João Tiago Aguiar Arquitectos

Restelo House (2016) by João Tiago Aguiar Arquitectos located in Lisbon, Portugal | The Hardt

 

Restelo House (2016) by João Tiago Aguiar Arquitectos located in Lisbon, Portugal. This house is located in an early 50´s residential neighborhood, more precisely at the western edge, in an area surrounded by terraced houses, near the Restelo shopping street. The main area of intervention was the rear part of the house, which was completely redrawn. Searching for a contrast with the main façade, we envisioned a fascia, opened by a series of windows and shutters resembling a pattern of traditional Portuguese tiles. This pattern works like a skin that filters the sunlight and also protects the house from intruders. In order to give the top floor more habitable space, we created a mansard roof with three openings.

 

 

 


 

At the ground level, we transformed the ground floor into one unique living area, joining together the entrance, the living room, and the kitchen. A white volume coated with grate lines disguises an area of a closet, social toilet, and storage. This central core also performs a separation within spaces. The staircase between the ground floor and the first floor are leaning on the left side of the entire volume. This was made in order to ensure an optimized living area and also a central passage to the first floor. We planned for the first floor of the private area, where the rooms are located, including a suite. To make this last request possible, with the areas we had, we placed a lavatory in the bed space that also worked as a sideboard. As for the shower cabin and the toilet, we merged them behind a glass wall, diluting the limits of the space, giving us a feeling of a much greater space. For the attic, we idealized the mansard roof to give us the possibility of the more livable area. With a great view of the garden, is a bedroom, a toilet, and an office.

 

 

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

 

 


 

 

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https://thehardt.com/landscape/melbourne-garden-myles-baldwin/

 


House for the Elderly by Aires Mateus

House for the Elderly by Aires Mateus

Located in Alcacer do Sal, Portugal, House for the Elderly by Aires Mateus | The Hardt

 

Located in Alcacer do Sal, Portugal, House for the Elderly by Aires Mateus. The project is based on an attentive reading of the life of a very specific kind of community, a sort of a micro-society with its own rules. It is a program, somewhere in between a hotel and a hospital, that seeks to comprehend and reinterpret the combination social/private, answering to the needs of a social life, and at the same time of solitude. Independents unities aggregate into a unique body, whose design is expressive and clear.

 

 


 

The reduced mobility of those who will live in the building suggests that any displacement should be an emotive and variable experience. The distance between the independent units is measured and drawn to turn the idea of the path into life, and its time into form. The building, designed path, is a wall that naturally rises from the topography: it limits and defines the open space, organizing the entire plot.

 

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

 


 

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