The idea is to create a house with a courtyard or ‘corral’, which traditionally was used to keep domestic animals contained and sheltered, but here makes the volume of the house seem very modest, while providing a private patio area and allowing an excuse to hide one of the bedrooms below a roof terrace. The large ‘gates’ which would have fully enclosed this inside-outside space have been reduced or removed completely to allow views towards the picturesque village of Horta de Sant Joan. There remains a secure space around the house which could work well for ‘outdoor living’. The sun angle is for August and I suggest that there needs to be some additional shading to the south facade.
There is a degree of ‘play’ with the extent and solidity of the stone-faced enclosing wall. At times it becomes a perforated screen, at times a protective barrier, both a balustrade and a threshold between the dwelling and its rural setting. The clay-tiled roof is lifted gently up and over the line of the wall and has a similar geometric simplicity.
Internally, a lightweight spiral stair both separates the living/dining area from the utilitarian spaces of the house and connects the lower floor to a modest mezzanine space. Its curved lines counterbalance the severe horizontal cut of the datum line formed by the surrounding wall as it meets the east-facing glazed wall.
First stage design for a off-grid house in Spain made using Trimble SketchUp. The model of thFirst stage design for a off-grid house in Spain made using Trimble SketchUp. The model of the house is geo-located on Google Earth. The terrain is exported from Google Earth and the house is placed in the exact position. Then, it is easy to show the sun and shade patterns on any given day.
The modelling of the house in the Lider programme allows an energy calculation to be generated which checks compliance of all of the external envelope to Spanish building regulations and gives it a classification. Useful information for the specification of windows, for example, whereby the impact of enhancing performance of glazing can be measured and evaluated in terms of CO2 emissions.