A country house located in the outskirts of a village in Empordà ( natural and historical region in Catalonia, Spain) where the big country houses surrounded by fields and fruit gardens contrast to the detached houses proper for the village urban tissue. The multiple extensions that were carried out in the existing house turned out in a tedious configuration with innumerable rooms without convenient light and ventilation.
Title: Refurbishment of a country house in Empordà
Designers: ARQUITECTURA-G (Jonathan Arnabat, Jordi Ayala-Bril, Aitor Fuentes, Igor Urdampilleta) LocationEmpordà, Girona (Spain)
Refurbished area: m² Year of design: Year of completion: Budget: Low
Photos by: ©José Hevia
The project starts by fusing the volume using an existing patio in the first floor and opening a new one in the second. The last one opens two large spaces in the centre of the house that are conceived as the entrance hall and the swimming pool.
Only the main structure and the exterior wall envelope of the building are maintained. The main spatial strategy tends to interconnect the spaces and open them up to the exterior introducing new courtyards and windows. New circulations are added to enhance the labyrinthine character of the house, providing a complexity that paradoxically improves the use of the house.
The volumes of stone and broken white colour give a neutral image where the materials play a crucial role in the spatial arrangement. The brown glazed coloured tile is the common thread that accompanies the inhabitant generating continuous surfaces that connect different spaces visually. The texture of the restored old authentic ceramic bricks contrasts with the neat reflection of the new material.
The result is a house where one could live without the need to leave it. The landscape floods the interior through the windows and an inner labyrinth of rooms and courtyards sets off spaces to work, eat, rest, read, swim …
Arquitectura-G is a Barcelona based architecture studio founded in 2006, mainly dedicated to building, teaching and design, who understands their activity as a team work where individualities dissolve in an addition of different ways of working. The material aspect is fundamental for the studio, understanding it as a research field. Arquitectura-G works applying the best custom-made solutions, aligning with the client goals and prevailing the long term, enduring and personalized relationships based in trust.
Besides their architectural practice, Arquitectura-G are in charge of the architecture section of Apartamento Magazine where they publish Escritos-G. Escritos-G is a recompilation of conversations about architecture between the members of Arquitectura-G and different prestigious architects. They also established the furniture company Indoors in 2012. Indoors is dedicated to edit and sell the furniture pieces designed by Arquitectura-G and other prestigious international designers. The catalogue includes remarkable pieces such as the Claudio and Claudia chair, the Manolito stool and the Balensiya.
Their work has been widely published in national and international media, and has received several awards, such as the architecture prize of the Catalan Association of Young Architects, the Heritage and Transformation award in the Spanish Biennial of architecture and Urban Planning (BEAU), and most notably the Emerging Architect Prize of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2015. Arquitectura-G have given lectures in various prestigious institutions and universities like CCCB, Matadero Madrid, Cooper Union New York, Université de Liège, UdK Berlin and ETSAB UPC.