Family houses


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Casa Retina, a room above a meadow


Description Technical file

The image of constructing a meadow as the structural element of the project characterises this family house.

The author refers to the strategy for his project with these words: “An old red Massey Ferguson tractor like Grandpa Joan’s still works the land. In this fast-paced world there are still ancient landscapes where the smoke of the neighbouring houses tell each other stories and keep each other company in winter; niches of happiness where the kitchen gardens on the riverbanks outside the ramparts are looked after. This is the story of a family refuge in which to enjoy nature and the simple things; of a time machine that seeks to retain forever a precious, as yet unchanged landscape”.
Adapting this project to the topography of the terrain essentially consists of constructing a meadow. Elements such as the garage, the pond, the walkway or the sloping wall of the background that follows and cuts through the powerful slope configure a flat surface on which rests a free-standing rectangular volume containing the minimum number of dwelling functions in a single, south-facing, open-plan
space with one living, dining, lounge room and, inside the thick wall that insulates us from the north, the services and entrance.
This architectural object transforms its relationship with the setting as the seasons progress in the filter of riverside vegetation that accompanies it, but also through the changing expression of its gaze, which enjoys the landscape shielded from the sun. Fearful of the transience of this restrained beauty, the refuge rests shakily on a hillside shelf like an owl ready to take flight over the landscape captured in its retina. Casa Retina can be interpreted in various ways depending on the reference system adopted. It can be understood as a freestanding element in an intimate and controlled relationship with its immediate surroundings, either through its changing gaze or through its neutral, bare interior spaces giving on to the landscape and ready to host all the complexity of its interior life.
With the same respect with which mankind transformed the nature of this place, the first step in the project was to pacify the terrain to generate a terrace. Henceforth Casa Retina is transformed into a room above a meadow that rests, contemplates, converses or closes its eyes and dreams.

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Localización Location: Santa Pau, Girona. Spain. Arquitecto Architect: Arnau Vergés Tejero | arnau estudi d’arquitectura. Colaboradores Collaborators: Jordi Cusidó Carrera, Anna Riera Pijoan. Ingeniería Enginnering: Josep Maria Codinach. Constructora General Contractor: Cros Encofrats, S.L., Promocions Grederes, S.L. Fecha de finalización de la obra Completion date of the works: Junio 2017. Fotografía Photography: Marc Torra, Pep Sau.
Suppliers list
Carpintería de aluminio: Technal

Carpintería interior y exterior: Mobles Joan Prat

Constructora: Promocions Grederes Tel. 972273963
Arnau Vergés i Tejero
Olot, Girona
arnau estudi d’arquitectura

Pep Sau

Marc Torra
Olot, Girona