Dwelling refurbishment in Vallirana

The house targeted by the intervention is located in the municipality of Vallirana. It is a municipality born around the historic road between Barcelona and Tarragona, with an eminently suburban plot in its central core.

The main growth takes place in the remaining space between the road and the stream, which run parallel. The buildings, therefore, have two well-differentiated facades. On the west façade, the building is alienated from the road, with a vertical façade and occasional balconies on the road. On the east façade, on the other hand, the building adapts to the topography, by means of a step, until it reaches the level of the old orchards and the stream, where we currently find an urban park.

The existing building is located between shared walls to the north and south and opens to the east and west, the stream and the street respectively. This is a late 19th century building. The original horizontal structure consists of wooden slabs and ceramic vault, while the vertical structure consists of a perimeter masonry wall and a central ceramic pillar. This provision, in which a large central space is generated, suggests that the original use could have been linked to an industrial or commercial use, and not to housing.

The house object of the intervention is located on the first floor, main floor. It has been the subject of several actions adapting its structure to that of a conventional 90’s house with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a segregated kitchen and a living-dining room. The night area and bathrooms are segregated from the day area and are placed on the west side, open to the street. The day area is located on the east façade opening onto the terrace.

The intervention tries to make the most of the location of the building. A series of parallel strips are proposed that recognize the historical system of growth of the building and the differences in character of the facades. From West to East, we find a first strip of three rooms that serve as bedrooms and studios, a strip of services with bathrooms and dressing rooms, a strip with a single open room that houses the kitchen and living room, and a last strip of gallery where the dining room is located.

The doors are always facing each other in such a way as to allow cross-views between the two façades, achieving light inside throughout the morning (east façade) and in the afternoon (west façade).

The intervention has also recovered the vertical openings of the rear façade, giving continuity to the gallery space with the exterior terrace. Work is also being carried out on this façade, recovering the original system of blinds and placing unique skylights in the openings to signify them.

The house is intended to be used by a single user, with the possibility of having a second or third bedroom at certain times. For this reason, the rooms on the west façade are treated as open elements, which can easily be converted into a study or office as appropriate. The main rooms, on the other hand, avoid closures due to the lack of need for privacy and allow the space to be enjoyed in its entirety.

The intervention is used to improve the thermal behavior of the home through passive air conditioning strategies. Because the use of the house will be mainly in warm months, we work with the thermal inertia of the building, avoiding all unnecessary interior cladding. The arrangement of the openings also allows cross-ventilation of the house, achieving a feeling of freshness without external energy input.

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