House at the Pyrenees
Aran Valley, Spain
The project seeks to display the construction values of an old existing vernacular house made from dry stone - a traditional technique in this area of great tectonic value. However, the distinctive attributes inherent to this construction technique (compactness, large mass, small openings, obscure interiors, weight) deny the extraordinary environment in which it is located: on top of a mountain, with views to two different valleys which are faced by the two façades of the house.
The project elaborates on a series of interior horizontal partitions supported by two vertical containers which behave both as structural elements and as divisions of the continuous space. These vertical elements generate continuity within the house, and allow the possibility of transforming it into two independent homes. Above all, the project intervenes by placing on the top floor a large continuous deck consisting of two planes which create a view of the mountain’s summit at their intersection. The roof doesn’t rest directly on top of the stone wall, so a second continuous longitudinal plane is created, permitting incredible views to the valley. The definition of the section of the roof is the definition of the character of the main space of the house.
By preserving the original structure and creating a minimal yet contrasting intervention, the idea is to generate new and contemporary spaces for living whilst respecting the historic envelope. In the basement of the house, and responding to the structural weakness of a section of the existing wall, a large opening is shaped within the dry stone wall. Such an opening permits incredible views and interior natural lighting to a second living and dining room. The rest of spaces accommodated within the old enclosure have a remnant sense of the old construction, although they are arranged according to modern ways of living within a more contemporary architectural reality.
Clara Solà-Morales with Eduardo Cadaval
Alex Mollà, Mariona Viladot, Pernilla Johansson, Lina Maria Mentrup