Project infoTags: unifamiliar
The building plot: This house is located in Sitges, in a building plot located 94 metres above sea level. Its breathtaking, exceptional views of the town of Sitges from Aiguadolç Marina to the Can Girona residential area are its main asset. The plot measures 1,183 square meters and has an irregular shape. Its topography presents some relevant differences regarding its grade, that reaches up to 60 % in slope and is oriented from north-east to south-west, being the lowest point at street level and the highest one at the northern threshold.
The conditions: The steep topography, the views, and the brief determine the decision making for this project. This 5-level house in Sitges gains ground through both the requirements in the brief and the relationship that its rooms establish among both themselves and the surrounding area. The clients imagine that there are several must-have spaces in their future home, such as an outdoor swimming pool—under a cover and totally open to the views to Sitges—an indoor swimming pool that provides a warm environment, a sheltered rear patio, and a guest house within the main house that is able to function as an independent unit. The objective is to create an architecture that allows our clients’ needs to be met.
The project: Despite the complexity presented by the plot, the project takes advantage for the house to progressively rise and develop a relationship with its surroundings in different ways, depending on both the level and the brief. The ground floor is the one in contact with the immediate outdoor areas. There is where those rooms intended to be used occasionally, such as the entrance, the parking area, and some facilities as a vine cellar and several box rooms are located. The second level houses both the indoor swimming pool and the guest apartment. In the third level we will find the main rooms of the house, all of them featuring their own bathrooms and walk-in closets. When we reach the fourth level, we will find a studio area and the day area of the house featuring the kitchen, the dinning room, and a big living room. Is in this floor where the ground becomes domesticated in order to be opened to two different fronts. On one side we enjoy direct views to Sitges, whereas towards the other side we find the inner patio. The latter is divided into different heights. Several platforms allow any user to access said heights, thus allowing them to establish different visual relationships with each space. We can access the last level via both this patio and the inner spaces of the house. The fifth floor will house the outdoor swimming pool, as well as those adjacent areas aimed to improve the degree of comfort of every dweller in the house—a chill out area, a kitchen with island, a dinning room, and a solarium. The constructional logic of the whole housing unit meets the needs of the brief by opening itself outwards through the perimeter of five trays.
The construction: The architecture in this house in Sitges defines a tray-type construction with pillars and a rigid core that houses both vertical communication and facilities. This system allows the envelope to be treated freely—there is no need for it to be held in place by means of big structures in the façade. This results in a proper insulation of all those elements that are in contact with the outer spaces, so not a single thermal bridge is generated in the whole housing unit. The house enjoys a ventilated façade. Therefore, in addition to favour both its watertight and airtight insulation, thermal comfort is provided. Our main objective is to focus on energy efficiency, thus reducing the energy consumption of a considerably big house to the minimum possible amount.
The functioning: Due to its occasional use, the ground floor is the only one that lacks thermal insulation. However, it acts as a thermal filter between the outer areas of the house and the access to the inside, on the first floor. From that point on, the whole housing unit enjoys thermal insulation. The most used levels in the house (these floors housing the main rooms and the day area) enjoy radiant floor, which allows the arrangement of all the climate control system for said floors through all the contact surface. The floor housing the day area opens to opposite sides, thus allowing cross ventilation for the most used level. Above this level we find the overflowing swimming pool in the covered area, which will provide thermal inertia through the huge body of water contained inside.
Energy efficiency: The goal of this housing unit in Sitges is to achieve the minimum consumption of energy, thus maximizing the reduction of its energy demands. We have triple insulation in the façades—the outer façade is insulated by means of a ventilated façade, which allows thermal bridges to be reduced to the minimum, whereas the inner one has insulation in both the inner air chamber and the exterior walls’ drywall cladding. High quality woodwork is to be found in the openings, as well as low-e glasses on the north side of the house and solar control glasses on the south side. An aerothermal heating system is installed in the levels two, three and four of the house to provide it with domestic hot water, as well as to feed the radiant floor and the climate control appliances. It has high energyefficiency mechanical ventilation with heat recovery featuring free-cooling system. To provide the indoor swimming pool with hot water, there is a system of solar panels.