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House in Uleta by Roberto Ercilla - Miguel Ángel Campo.

Photos: Roberto Ercilla - Miguel Ángel Campo.

The Roman God Janus, after whom the month of January was named, was the God of beginnings and transitions. He is usually depicted as having two faces, looking in opposite directions towards the beginning and the end.

This house reminds me of this depiction. On the one side it is part of a luxury housing estate and clearly fits that category, whilst on the other hand it faces an industrial site and so takes ideas for its form from that view.

The architects see this as a critique of the unsatisfactory nature of the luxury housing round about, but a case could be made that the design provides a penetrating insight into a sense of unease about the site and the neighbours.

The house, located in Uleta Spain and completed in 2002 is surrounded by a high fence. Most of the house is top lit via a series of rooflights set in a sawtooth roof. On the ground floor there are large glazed windows looking over the terrace but generally the house is inward facing.

The interior it is light and white, full of Modernist simplicity with a touch of heroism! But on the outside it appears demure, toned down using simple timber cladding.

We are told that the final result is an apparently ironic comment on some house designs the architects Roberto Ercilla – and Miguel Ángel Campo do not like.

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