Family houses

Sant Esteve de Palautordera, Barcelona

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Anoro House

Anna Bach y Eugeni Bach, arquitectos

Description Technical file

The use of a volumetric composition comprised of two different pieces in order to reveal the complementary nature of its volumes in a single functional discourse is this project’s principal characteristic.

The project consists of the enlargement of a weekend house in an estate in Sant Esteve de Palautordera, a two-storey summer house built in several phases during the 1980s. The new enlargement programme virtually doubles the initial surface space and therefore the new construction could hardly be understood as an addition to the original house. Right from the start, therefore, the approach was to treat the project as a whole as if it were a dancing couple in which each volume has to dance its role to the same score.

The original house consists of a principal rectangular volume to which later phases had added a porch and a raised gallery. The first operation consisted of eliminating these additions, leaving the prototypical house as such, that is to say, a house with a peaked roof and white walls perforated by windows.

The enlargement was built with the same willingness to immediacy as the initial house and consisted of a rectangular flat-roof volume that almost repeats the width of the existing body and stands below the sloping roof of the first one.

The new volumetry is formed from two similar prisms. The volumetry, the dimensions and proportions of the openings, together with the materials and construction techniques of the two units, are similar. They are equal but not identical pieces so that neither of them stands as the principal unit, though it is easy to distinguish between one and the other.

The most immediate characteristic of this relationship between the similarities and characteristics inherent to each volume lies in the façade treatment. While the perimeter walls of the two volumes have the same origin and basically the same treatment, the enlargement displays the layers that constitute its white dress: brick, render and white paint. The stripes of the facades gives some degree of prominence to the new volume to compensate for its smaller dimension while giving it a lightness and fragmentation that blurs its limits with the garden.

Between the two volumes, operating as a hinge, are the entrance and the new staircase. This area is slightly recessed from the façade planes and its height is lower to prevent it becoming a third piece equivalent to the main couple. This is clearly a space situated between the two protagonists of the project, operating both through the volumetry and through the programme, organising the circulation and displaying the origin, process and ultimately the strategy adopted.

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Localización Location: c/ Ocells, 9, Sant Esteve de Palautordera., Barcelona. Spain. Arquitectos Architects: Anna & Eugeni Bach. Colaboradores Collaborators: Albert Cabrer, Gracinda Ferreira, Carina Silva. Cliente/Promotor Client: Familia Anoro-Clusa. Constructor Contractor: Calam Tapias Construccions. Periodo de ejecución Completion: Mayo 2013. Superficie Area: 242 m2 (128 m2 obra nueva + 114 m2 reforma). Fotografía Photography: Jordi Bernadó, Eugeni Bach.
arquitectes Anna & Eugeni Bach
Jordi Bernadó