Family houses

Palafrugell, Girona. Spain

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Two cork houses

Emiliano López y Mónica Rivera

Description Technical file

The use of cork as a material for finishing the façades of this two-house unit increases its capacity for environmental adaptability, in a wooded landscape dominated by the presence of cork trees.
These two houses have been erected on a plot densely populated by tall and slender pines, young cork trees and holm oaks, in an area of the Costa Brava where there used to be cork plantations. The plot has a strong ascending slope from the access street, and there is new water fountain at the highest point. The two dwellings are located at the halfway point between the street and the fountain, and between them they configure an outdoor entrance area for the three generations of the family living there.
The buildings, compact and vertical, emerge from a rough terrain that has been altered as little as possible, avoiding interventions in the terrain’s natural topography – no walls, paved terraces or underground garages – and opting for the preservation of the existing vegetation, which has been enhanced by the addition of Mediterranean shrubbery. Thus the landscape is preserved, and gives the impression that the location has barely changed after the intervention.
The structures, with a concrete base and the rest in cross-laminated pine, use two layers of insulating cork as exterior cladding. The wood of the structure is left visible in the interiors, generating warm atmospheres with a character resembling the nearby forest rather than the sea that is 500m away from the homes.
The interior spaces, intimate in scale, are all connected without any need for hallways, in a sequence of rooms that differ in size and with uses defined by their relation to the exterior space, be they distant views of the sea, pine canopies or the exits leading to the grounds. The shade from the pines protects the windows from the sun’s rays.
The larger dwelling acts as a setting for most of the family encounters and extends its main floor with a bare canopy that configures two large overlapping balconies with views of the sea and the Sierra Litoral in Las Gavarres. The sandblasted concrete canopy is structurally independent from the house, and its balconies are literally suspended between the pines.
Heating is generated aerothermally, using heated floors underneath ceramic tiles that are custom-built by Ceràmica Cumella.

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Localización Location: Palafrugell, Girona. Spain. Autores Authors: Emiliano López y Mónica Rivera, arquitectos. Aparejador Quantity surveyor: V. Romero. Colaboradores Collaborators: Sofia Jon Ander Aguirre, Javier Redondo, Mar Esteve y Yeray Sarmiento. Estructuras Structures: BIS structures. Madera contralaminada Cross-laminated wood: Egoin. Instalaciones Installations: CVit Enginyers. Redacción proyecto Project Draft: 2014. Fecha de finalización de la obra Completion date of the works: 2016. Superficie construida Built area: 247+112m2. Fotografía Photography: José Hevia.
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Corcho: Barnacork

Herrería: Nova Ferralum +34 618 185 442

Instalaciones: Portet Instal·lacions
Mónica Rivera
Emiliano López
José Hevia