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Name   Family house
     
Architects   BOFILL, RICARDO
     
Date   1973
     
Address   Girona, Spain
     
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Floor Plan    
     
Description  

This summerhouse designed for the architect’s parents, set in a landscape of hills and woods, is located in the village of Montràs, a few miles from the Spanish Costa Brava, and was built around a country manor farmhouse in ruins. The layout is similar to a small town, and the ruins are incorporated into the volumes of the house. The structure merges with the ruins of a peasant hut made of rough stone walls and a tiled roof built in the local Catalan style.

The complex consists of several pavilions arranged around a central exterior space occupied by the red swimming pool and the main dining room, which stands as an independent pavilion. The pavilions, clad in brown bricks, and the ‘red cage’ of the dining and meeting room, which has been covered with rectangular ceramics tiles, are oriented towards the central swimming pool, the focal point of the residence. The space is made even more comfortable by the inclusion of multiple corners for relaxation, shielded by walls that function as windbreaks, and is scenically tied to nearby volumes by a series of terraced steps that act as a solarium. The scenographic effect of the whole is enhanced by the presence of cypress trees. An ‘obelisk’ built of pink bricks, an allusion to a petrified nature, and the shape of the windows, which play on the perspective offered from both the interior and exterior, act as a counterpoint to the trees.

The site includes a house for the parents, plus independent rooms located within four equally sized volumes for each son, the grandchildren, and family guests. The main dining room—the meeting place par excellence—connects with the kitchen and servant’s quarters via a revolving glass door. The structure is formed by a 3x6x6m volume with a mezzanine floor. The four independent modules organised around the main servant space each contain a bedroom and bathroom. These four dormir y estar volumes (volumes for sleeping and being) are accessed through a large shaded passageway that leads slightly behind the house’s main activity and meeting spaces.

A fifth rectangular volume shelters the kitchen on the first floor and the custodian’s bedroom on the second floor. The low and large dining room occupies the entire red cage and faces the swimming pool. The main body—the space for the parents—is composed of two identical volumes: on the ground floor there is a living room with a fireplace positioned at a diagonal angle, covered by a Catalan vault; a music room; and the master bedroom, with an en-suite bathroom and dressing room. On the second floor is the library; on the third are the playroom and sitting room, which are connected to the swimming pool by an external staircase. Each volume is tied together by the platform of bricks that surrounds the swimming pool; all the built elements, including the swimming pool, are constructed on a rectangular platform, which serves as a plinth for the entire house.

     
     
     
     
     
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