modern masia in the foothills of the Pyrenees
Higher SAU takes to Vidrà, a Catalan a village located at the foothills of the Pyrenees, to design its Vivet Houses. The architecture is created to integrate contemporary design and restrained materials with the spirit of its rural setting. Taking shape as a pair houses, the project presents a modern interpretation of the traditional farmhouse, or masia, found throughout the region. The design team notes that the site, which is often exposed to sunlight, has wonderful views of the mountainous landscape and the picturesque village with its stone church and belfry.
images © Andrés Flajszer | @andresflajszer
With his Vivet Houses, the architects at Taller SAU work in collaboration with the woodworking company Vivet de Vidrà, which owns the site. ‘The main objectives of the project are, on the one hand, to achieve low environmental impact and high energy efficiency,’ explains the team: ‘on the other hand, to provide a high quality project at a competitive cost and, finally, a high quality project to recommend. architecture fully integrated into the landscape.’
passive design at higher sau
Tithe Vivet Taller SAU saw the use of stark, neutral materials that celebrate thoughtful design while ensuring less impact on the environment during construction. So each structure is created on top of a large concrete plinth to negotiate the sloping plot. The entire project is built with a plywood structure, interior finishes of three-layer pine panels, wood fiber insulation, and a ventilated facade of wood cement composite panel.
To integrate passive cooling strategies, the number of openings is reduced to only those that are necessary, and they are strategically placed to achieve good solar radiation. The team continues: ‘In this way, the houses behave very well since there are almost no heat channel breaks, which reduces the amount of energy they consume throughout their useful life.’
vivet houses: a contemporary abstraction of the rural setting
The design team contributes to the efficiency of the project by using standardized modular logic. The interior layout is based on the structure’s modular panels, a strategy that greatly cuts down on material waste and costs. The floor plan shows an ultra-efficient organization, covering as little space as possible while maintaining high quality spaces.
Finally, the material palette and architectural language respond directly to the surrounding landscape. Although the wood, tiles and panels evoke the composite facades of the countryside and its appearance, the volume itself stands as a modern abstraction of the large nineteenth-century Vidrà farmhouses.
The facade is made of wood cement composite panels
hybridizing the old and the new, the architecture harmonizes with its setting