Title: Full Moon
Location: Olot, Spain
Authors: Eduard Callís Freixas, Guillem Moliner Milhau
Photos: José Hevia, Roger Serrat-Calvó
Sant Pere Màrtir is a public housing neighborhood which was built in the 1950s inOlot (Girona). It is made up of a group of north-facing semi-detached houses withsmall gardens adapted to the natural topography of a volcano’s hillside. Theeconomic scarcity during the post-war period sharpened the wits of planner IgnasiBosch and Joaquim Maria Masramon, who built the houses using brick masonry,providing stability through form.Opening an outdoor room allows expanding domestic activity and bringing morelight into the house. It shares the same building systems, materials and language.The curved wall is a recurring feature in the neighbourhood’s development as asolution to the retaining walls, as is the use of brick arches and vaults to cover thebuildings. As occurs with the surrounding houses, all wall facings are roughrendered in white cement.At night a main lamp light which responds to three situations: inside the semicircularwindow, it tenses the limit between the two spaces – the internal and theexternal - and it also makes the semi-circular courtyard act as a large reflector light.At the halfway point, in the center of the room, the light crowns the activity bycreating an intimate atmosphere around the table. Finally, placed against the wall,the projecting semi-sphere offers a general lighting and highlights the texture of theplastered walls, typical of the houses in the neighborhood. The luminaire becomesan abstract, spherical light – the moon which crosses the courtyard at night. Thehouse regains the sun and the moon.
The new outdoor room has a rectangular floor which issimilar to the main room and is located next to the kitchen and the dining room. Itencompasses an outdoor kitchenette and just like any other room, it has doors andwindows. The main window opens onto a semi-circular courtyard which is dug intothe mountain. It is an opening to the sky, the sun and the moon; it is a courtyard’scourtyard. This layout expands the space between the house and the mountain slope,increasing by threefold the number of hours of sunlight in the house’s main rooms.The inner pond gathers water from the roof and provides coolness during thesummer. The tree and grapevine will gradually take the form of a deciduous roofwhich will offer a cool and moist atmosphere in the summer and a sunny one duringthe rest of the year.