photo © Iwan Baan
This X-shaped house by architects Cadaval & Sola-Morales hangs over the edge of a hillside on the outskirts of Barcelona.
photo © Iwan Baan
Aptly named X House, the two-storey residence is based on a simple rectilinear form but features four triangular recesses that create the X-shaped plan. One of these recesses allows the structure to avoid a nearby tree, while two others provide windows that avoid overlooking neighbouring houses and the fourth lengthens the glazed facade to offer a wider view of the surrounding landscape.
photo © Iwan Baan
"The form is not a priori, but an effort to give a unitary response that satisfies each of the questions that rose up in the design process," explains Cadaval & Solà-Morales.
photo © Iwan Baan
photo © Iwan Baan
A bedroom, bathroom and study occupy two arms of the cross on this floor and overlook a double-height living room on the storey below.
photo © Iwan Baan
photo © Iwan Baan
photo © Iwan Baan
photo © Iwan Baan
Downstairs, the living room and kitchen wrap around the facade to offer views out across over the hillside.
photo © Iwan Baan
photo © Iwan Baan
photo © Iwan Baan
photo © Iwan Baan
photo © Iwan Baan
photo © Iwan Baan
photo © Iwan Baan
photo © Iwan Baan
Residents enter the house on the top floor by following a staircase around the edge of the pine tree and locating a door that is two metres below street level, alongside a garage for parking two cars.
photo © Iwan Baan
The walls without glazing appear as solid, undecorated concrete and were set using a single-sided formwork. "[The house] accumulates in its skin the diverse and continuous knowledge acquired within the process of construction," say the architects.
photo © Iwan Baan
"X House uses form to qualify spaces of very different nature and provide them with an individual character, always incorporating landscape as a main actor," add the architects.
photo © Iwan Baan
photo © Iwan Baan
photo © Iwan Baan
photo © Iwan Baan
photo © Iwan Baan
Name of the project: X House
Name of the Office: Cadaval & Solà-Morales
Project: Eduardo Cadaval & Clara Solà-Morales
photo © Iwan Baan
Collaborators: Bruno Pereira, Pamela Diaz De Leon, Daniela Tramontozzi, Manuel Tojal Building Engineering: Joaquin Pelaez
Structural Engineering: Carles Gelpi.
Construction Company: TOPCRET constructions
photo © Iwan Baan
Location: Cabrils, Barcelona, España
Area: 300sqm
Date: Project: 2009. Construction 2012
photo © Iwan Baan
photo © Iwan Baan
The house is located on the upper part of a hill in Cabrils, in the outskirts of Barcelona. The site, with remarkable views and an important slope, is accessed from a single street located at the top of the site. The location of the house within the site responds to the aim to minimize excavation and optimize, within possible, the use of the non-occupied land.
Above: site plan
Above: upper floor plan
The house has two floors. The top floor, beyond incorporating a parking and allowing the access to the house, is conceived as a private suite of the owners: main room, with dresser and washroom / toilet, and spacious studio. In the lower floor there is a clear distinction between the front and the rear of the house; the front part has a totally open and public nature, build up with a living area in a double high space next to a kitchen-dining room articulated around a significant marble table, 8m long.
Above: lower floor plan
Above: front elevation
Above: side elevation
Above: rear elevation
Above: side elevation
Above: concept diagram
Above: model
The X House is also a constructive exploration: a technique regularly used for the infrastructural construction such as bridges and tunnels, is here developed to meet the architectural scale, aiming to incorporate efficiency, and reduction of costs to the construction.The use of a mixed technique based on the application of a high-density concrete allows projecting the material at a high pressure to a single-sided formwork, and to acquire high structural resistance in extremely short periods of time. Thus, it is possible to project continuous 6m high walls without the need to use a two-sided formwork (which would be the regular construction procedure). The house is therefore a living expression of the specific technique, and accumulates in its skin the diverse and continuous knowledge acquired within the process of construction.
 
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