Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
House in perbes, Spain by Díaz y Díaz Arquitectos
April 23rd, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
The dwelling is located in the highest zone of the plot, to take maximum advantage of the excellent views and to set back, as far as possible, respect to the street. The entrance porch is in the left side of the front of the plot, corresponding with the highest point of the street. It has two doors, one for pedestrian access and another one for vehicles. A ramp allows these to come to the basement level and to gain access to the garage door existing in it. Next to it, an exterior covered seat of parking is arranged.
The pedestrian access is made from the door of the parcel through a “capitolina” staircase that reaches the exterior level of the basement and of the stairs of two sections that allows to gain access to the ground floor terrace. The exterior space between the house and the front of street is organized in downward platforms that also integrate the swimming pool. The building is conceived like a macle of parallelepipeds that are arranged alternatively according to perpendicular, parallel or oblique axes.
This way, the ground floor volume plays the role of a socle where it leans, set back, the volume of the wing of bedrooms of the first floor, both parallel to the edges. The body of the main bedroom and entrance hall is inserted on them, intersecting them. It is turned according to an oblique axis, looking for an orientation and a certain view, which gives its special appearance to the dwelling. The basement storey reflects this law, adapting its form to the orthogonal bodies (at the end) and to the turn of the oblique body (at the front). The house consists of three plants: basement, ground and first.
All the covers are flat. The usual access will be by car, through the garage. It occupies the central part of this storey and it has four parking seats. From here, one enters a hall that leads to a space with triple height that contains the main stairs. The iron/laundry room and a small cellar also lead to this hall. Contiguous to these and with access from the outside, it is located the boiler room with the hot water storage. Outside, there is a small porch covered by the volume of the dining room and the kitchen, which allows to allocate a covered parking seat.
At the end of this, between the house and the retaining wall, it is formed a courtyard where it is buried the central heating oil tank. From the garage, one can gain access to a cloakroom. At the other side of the garage, it is placed a space for gymnasium, which is opened to another courtyard at its end. It is also located between the house and the retaining wall, partially covered by the volume of the first floor, and it is treated as “Zen garden”. A secondary staircase allows to go up directly to the living area in the ground floor.
An exterior staircase communicates with the solarium. The gymnasium has underwater view to the swimming pool, through of a hole protected with a methacrylate plate, mounted and sealed with the typical techniques of the aquariums. This way, it will penetrate the natural light made iridescent because of the effect of the water by day, or, at night, the artificial light of the underwater spotlights. Next to the gymnasium, there are a toilet/changing area, facilities and a place for a prefabricated sauna.
The main staircase, that is always developed in a triple height space, ascends to the ground floor and ends at the entrance hall. It is opened to a porch that is part of the external terrace. Adjacent to the hall, after the stairs, there are a wide closet and a toilet. Towards an end, flying over the area of vehicles, it appears the volume containing the dining room and the kitchen. The first one communicates directly with the hall and it has a large window with view to the landscape. The kitchen is located at a higher level, accessible from the dining room by two tiny stairs (of three steps).
It opens its window at the end, towards the courtyard. Between both spaces, a transparent glass screen on the kitchen table, allows to enjoy from here the excellent view. The living area is developed towards the other side, opposite the swimming pool. It is arranged in two differentiated areas: the hall, strictly speaking, and the leisure room. The lounge is opened by means of big windows facing the landscape; these also allow the exit to the terrace. It consists of three atmospheres, one of them centred in the hearth. The leisure room is located at the end, against the retaining wall.
It consists of two atmospheres: billiards table and area for projections. The secondary stairs that come from the gymnasium lead into the leisure room. The following section starts from the lounge and allows to ascend to the body of bedrooms. The wide exterior terrace has three differentiated areas: the porch of access, the terrace of the lounge and the solarium of the swimming pool. From this, one can go down the outer stairs, to the gymnasium and changing room. The main staircase starts from the hall of the ground floor and leads to the first floor. A skylight provides natural zenithal light.
It is centred in the space with triple height. The first floor has two differentiated bodies: the main bedroom and the secondary bedrooms. The main dormitory occupies the body turned on the hall and porch of the entrance. In order to gain access to it, one has to go up a few steps to reach the level of a glass footbridge that crosses over the main stairs. The bedroom is organized around a free-standing bed facing a big window opened to the landscape. A headboard piece of furniture also serves as a table. Between the bed and the door of the room, there is a living area with an exit door to the upper terrace. From this area, one can go to a dressing room, provided with two wide closets, a window to the façade of the end and a glass screen that allows to see the space with triple height where the stairs and the footbridge are located.
A hopper for clothes goes down directly from here to the iron/laundry room in the basement. From the dressing room, there is access to the bathroom, that is provided with shower and hydromassage bathtub. This is in the corner of the window opened to the landscape. This window is set back respect to the façade to give visual privacy both to the dormitory and to the bathroom. The three secondary bedrooms are organized in a linear body located on the leisure area. The access to them is through a corridor that goes all along the façade of the end, with a high sliding window, under which there is a big closet. Each one of the three bedrooms has its own bathroom, with natural light through a skylight. The three are opened to a great terrace, which is opened to the magnificent view. One can gain access to this terrace from the lobby of the stairs.
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