Title: Gurrea House
Location: Sabadell, Spain
Studio: SAUQUET ARQUITECTES
Author: Roger Sauquet, Xavier Sauquet, Guillem Bosch, Anna Bonet, Berta Fusté
Category: Personal Place
Photos: José Hevia
With the basic premise of a very limited budget, we have opted for taking down all the volumes and the interior partition walls in order to achieve a unique clear space. In this new space, we have only kept the original staircase but the walls around it have been holed to allow crossed views and sun light coming from the new skylight opened in the existing roof. Close to the street facade, we have placed one single low volume, containing a bathroom, which separates the access zone from the living room. The original ceiling can be completely perceived throughout the ground floor reinforcing the feeling of spaciousness. The kitchen and the dining-room are placed near the courtyard facade and, thanks to a big folding balconette, a better indoor-outdoor connection is achieved. In this area, a long and narrow skylight separates the old ceiling from the new one on which there is a terraced roof. On the first floor the original structure is preserved, including the hydraulic flooring.
After being living one year in the House, Maria del Mar said to me: “I didn’t imagine that the beauty of a space so much affects the quality of life”. Maria del Mar and Toni are a couple of university professors with a daughter, Clara. They only needed a house with open spaces, clear atmosphere, two big rooms, a studio and lots of light. Normally they stay at the university and lead a stress life combining pedagogy and research. So, they can not wait to arrive at home in the evening feel relaxed. We conceived the house as a combination of two kinds of spaces: the closed rooms and the continuous open space. We thought than the rooms will be useful for sleeping and working and the open space will be the areas to relax, to do domestic tasks, to play. So finally they can sleep in big rooms, they can work in a quiet place and they can cook in the kitchen being in visual contact with the playing areas and the exterior space. The house takes a special character when Maria del Mar and Toni organize a dinner or a party with friends. Then the patio became the protagonist. Thanks to the big opening that connect the back patio of the house with the kitchen, the limit between interior and exterior disappears, so the ground floor is converted in a big porch of the patio making the house bigger and easily connected between indoor and outdoor activities.