(or how to bring the joy of life indoors)
HOWA House rises upon one of the best known little beaches on the Spanish Costa Brava, Sa Riera Beach in Begur, on a very steep piece of land.
Due to combination of orientation and orography of plot not being particularly in favor for the resolution of the task comissioned, the final volume achieved ends up resembling the shape of a gun embedded in the ground.
Since the beginning it was clear that a house so high on the hill should overlook the bay instead of the valley. It´s 21 meter long window overlooking the bay should ensure the feeling of gazing at nature from a sky high mezzanine.
Steep plots are very troublesome in terms of car manoeuvrability, due to the extended area needed by cars to turn. In this case, we have implemented a turning platform that turns car back to it´s coming-out position after entering the property. Such inexpensive solution helps project integrate with the hill without traumatic transformation of its natural profile.
All materials used were chosen from a long term durability consideration. More than that, the building should be able to beautify as it ages through the pátina concrete, wood and stone will be showing as they age.
The fact that concrete was used both as structure and finish material allowed us to reduce the number of pillars to the minimum necessary. Then we would use interior design tricks, and would play with the wooden box and the stone wall to hide those ones we could not remove, so that the whole space would look clean and clear from structure elements.
Evening looks were very important for us and the client. The house should show completely open, right as a theater stage where one could see life happening. So the whole space idea was relying on the very deeply studied lightning proposal. Downlights and LED stripe set along the window gap definitely help achieve our intentions.
Outdoor set LED stripes along the building also create the effect of construction being lifted up from the green surface created by oleanders and lavandas surrounding it. Such effect makes it an interesting contradiction, between the heavy, embedded construction daylight, and the light, open and floating element shining in the dark during night hours.
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We truly enjoyed working together with these folks in search of perfection for this project....
«What is a nice project without the tools to carry it out successfully?: Only a lot of paper to wrap the fish.
I believe in the fact that any project must be the result of fair collaboration among the members of a team. Sometimes decisions are easier to be taken after discussing matters with people whose skills are not those we are dealing at the moment, but just because of that, they might come with a fresh point of view.
HOWA House has been so far one of my best experiences in that way, and therefore I want to pay credit for it. Here is to them.»
-Óskar Vélez, architect
Francis Saris, co-founder of Same-d design firm, her vision and complete understanding of this project made it possible to achieve total consistency between the indoors spirit and the image the building should project outside. It was just delightful to see Francis deploy all her knowledge regarding use of space and it´s perception, materials, colors, textures…. Our gratitude to Francis and her team in Voorburg for their priceless input in this adventure. (Click on the picture to access Same-d).
Manel Jaén, founder of Construcciones DarolaBisbal, responsible for the translation of our plans into the real thing we show you here. Without this company´s knowledge, but also Manel´s personal involvement polishing details to the state-of -the-art finish, this villa would not have reached such level in terms of perfection in its execution. (Click on the picture to access DarolaBisbal´s website).
Xavier Vinyoles i Compta, building engineer during the execution process and responsible for its accuracy. His large knowledge (not only about construction, but basically about everything in life), together with his calm personality when it comes to face the unexpected, has helped everybody whenever things seemed to turn a bit wrong, or really, really wrong. Our gratitude to him for his input, we toast here to many new projects together.