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Casa patio casa patio

April-2021 - July-2023

Adrián Ripoll. Architecture student

A two-storey house set back from the street is hidden between two courtyards. When crossing the gate that separates it from the street, two fruit trees in a carelessly beautiful garden preside over the façade dotted with elements in a very characteristic blue colour. 

The typology of the original house is typical of the rural architecture of the villages of l’horta, with a very marked central axis on two sides, with its first two bays very compartmentalised and a third one that houses the kitchen, possibly as a later annexe. It had some obvious pathologies due to rising damp and, although there were many recoverable elements that the clients appreciated, it was clear that it did not meet their needs.

There are thick walls, thin, slender partitions, large wooden joinery and a large courtyard at the back of the plot on the southwest boundary preceded by the old porch -now closed to house the kitchen. A high, unobstructed ground-floor clear height and the breeze from opening the front and back patio doors made the house a very pleasant space. At some point in the previous life of the house, the vaulted staircase linking the ground floor to the first floor had been demolished, leaving the two floors disconnected and making access to the first floor a linear staircase accessed from the street. 

The clients’ dreams for the new house were endless, and they were enthusiastic about the possibilities it offered. However, they were aware that the somewhat more contained and realistic budget was going to limit, in this first phase, to work on the ground floor and reconnect with the upper floor, leaving the intervention on the first floor and the large courtyard at the back for the not too distant future.

The project finally consists, once the building has been refurbished and an intervention has been carried out on the envelope to protect the dwelling from damp, in the construction of two volumes millimetrically fitted into a sensitive geometry taken from the visuals of the routes and diagonals of the existing house that house a bathroom and the kitchen wall units. Without being alien to the layout of the original house, the two-handed spatial structure and the central axis that marks an imperfect symmetry that gives balance to the whole is maintained. At the same time, a new staircase was built, with a vaulted ceiling like the previous one, in two sections attached to the façade and the party wall. The result is sculptural, the pieces built do not reach the ceiling and the route through the floor plan is fluid. At the ends, there are four open but hidden enclosures that can be used freely. Curtains, separators? We don’t know, time will tell.

The large access door is replaced by a new one with a variety of openings: full access from the patio or half for a conversation between one person inside and another outside or to allow light and ventilation without the family dogs going out or coming in if their owners want them to. What a great summer patio. 

At the opposite end, the porch is recovered and a more direct relationship is established between the porch and the interior. A window in the form of a serving hatch appears in the façade next to the kitchen. What a good porch for low sunny afternoons in winter.

The volumes are painted in vibrant, complementary colours, one orangey ochre and the other blue. The paving, to reinforce the idea of continuity, is a continuous coarse concrete with exposed grain in which small splashes of colour appear in ceramic pieces that are supported by the geometry, in the same way as the necessary expansion joints. These ceramic pieces are of the same colours as the volumes and are also placed in front of the entrances or exits to the courtyards, thus also reinforcing the idea of centrality and symmetry. 

The materiality of the envelope is treated in a delicate and careful manner: the beams and joists that had been painted on several occasions are stripped of their paint until the original layer is reached, and the paint is carefully removed from the walls to reach a slightly deeper layer of plaster that reveals painted borders.


Casa patio casa patio