Seeing double: two houses in Barcelona by Pich Architects.
Text: Detail Daily
The architects, Felipe Pich-Aguilera and Teresa Batlle, sought to resolve the formal relationship with an existing property on the site, as well integrate the garden, and nearby Collserola Park, into the design of this pair of houses in Barcelona, Spain.
From the street, there are four modules apparent in the massing, giving a smaller urban grain to the exterior of the houses. Internally, this articulation provides a degree of spatial complexity. Constructionally, the entire property has been conceived as assembled from industrial systems, including large format ceramic materials. These are carried through from outside to in, and they correspond with the existing property on the site also designed by the same architects.
The houses have strong environmental credentials achieving this through the use of both passive and active techniques. There is a green roof, and of course solar shading, and there is extensive use of thermal mass to control the internal temperatures. A ground source ventilation system is also employed.
The ceramic elements within the façade are modulated depending on their solar exposure and their role in the overall environmental strategy. In some locations this is manifest as solar shading, whilst in others as a ventilated façade.
Rainwater is harvested for irrigation, and grey water for the flushing of toilets. Hot water is provided using solar collectors as far as possible.
Where there are perforated walls, such as the boundary to the street and in other areas, vegetation is encouraged to grow through the wall, enveloping the architecture and softening its presence with lush verdure.
Gratitude to Matxalen Acasuso who edits the Spanish edition of Detail online.