House / Office in Canet de Mar

Personal Places

Studio: Valor-Llimós arquitectura
Authors: Jaume Valor / Laura Llimós
Location: Canet de Mar, Spain
Video: Valor-Llimós arquitectura

General aspects:
Home and office located in a small seaside town, on a plot previously used as a car park. The building wants to achieve climate comfort through passive solutions, and it would like to integrate into the ancient town center. This aim is present in the choice and disposition of materials, and the care about old remains –such as the masonry of remaining walls, that are preserved– and its anonymous facade.

The Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and warm summers and a high humidity, defines the inside configuration and its relationship with the outside. The room’s proportions and their connections –such as the holes between the three floors– make a single volume. The relationship of this continuum with the street and the garden is always made through intermediate spaces –patio, porch, terraces and balconies– protected with solar and visual filters, which also serve to separate home and office.
The spaces order is based on the relationship between qualities and uses, rather than between forms or distributions.

Heavy construction systems –such as concrete and brick– provide thermal inertia, which plays a fundamental role in the passive building performance, which is especially indicated in a building with permanent occupation.

Main materials are concrete and uncoated brick, unpainted woodwork, concrete floors and natural cork. Their raw appearance is assured thanks to finishes like waxes, oils or colorless lasures.

Why did you choose this category?:
The building had to be cheap and quick to build. Only 13 intense months passed from the day the plot was acquired until the house was occupied, including the project, the city procedures and the construction. Because of that, its design trusts in aspects such as the raw materials, the integration in the old town center and the relationship between inside and outside spaces.

Living and working in the same building involves using the spaces in a singular way, modulating relations between the public and the private areas, foreseeing transition spaces that allow pauses, readings, music.
The house accepts the existing stone walls, which leads acts as diverse as entering, climbing the stairs, cooking, or guiding the sun inside through the entrance courtyard.

The garden and the vegetable garden became the best allies. Grow it with rainwater accumulated in the underground cistern, allows being aware of the season’s change, as the sunlight drawing on the walls –specially arranged to receive it– shows the day passage.

Opening and closing ventilation devices according to the weather also contributes to that feeling, making possible a low technological dependence on mechanical climate control.

From the office, you can shoo away the birds that come to eat the harvest.