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House in Port de la Selva / Marià Castelló Martínez + José Antonio Molina

Architect: Marià Castelló Martínez + José Antonio Molina
Place: Punta Creu 15. Port de la Selva, Spain
Year: 2021
Photographer: Marià Castelló
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Port de la Selva is a small coastal settlement in the northernmost part of the Costa Brava. The house designed by architects José Antonio Molina and Marià Castelló Martínez is located on a plot of land “La Tamariua” a small promontory that surrounds and protects the port of the city located on the north side of Puig Gros. The topography presents a pronounced slope towards the sea with abundant outcrops of “pòrfit”, a dark and very hard rock that characterizes the geology of the volcanic origin of the place. The climatic conditions are typical of the Mediterranean climate, although sometimes they become extreme, with strong winds from the north that frequently hit the coast.

The tension between the optimal solar orientation and the deep panoramic views compresses the program of a house for a family with four children on two levels: the lower one embedded in the bedrock and the upper one, fragmented into two volumes. This combination of strategies (embedding in the ground and volumetric division) makes it possible to reduce the apparent volume of the intervention and improve its integration into the landscape, as well as generate different patios that provide warmth, lighting, and ventilation at strategic points.

While on the lower level, almost at street level, more intimate relationships with the outside are established through patios, on the upper level the two volumes open frontally to the landscape and the sea horizon. Also at the top level more introverted relationships are generated between the volumes and the rocky substrate that surrounds them. Thus, the glass nexus, which connects the two bodies and contains the vertical communication, acts as a screen against the wind and generates an exterior space sheltered from the prevailing wind but visually permeable towards the sea. This in turn is capable of receiving correct sunlight during the winter months, as it is also oriented to the south.

From a tectonic point of view, concrete is the predominant material both outside and inside, given that its stony nature establishes an intense dialogue with the rocky substratum of the place. Likewise, its resistance to inclement weather (strong winds and marine environment) makes it one of the most durable options, with little maintenance and, therefore, more sustainable. Also outside, “pòrfit” gravel from the emptying of the excavation has been used to finish the roofs and the interstitial patios between the intervention and the bedrock. To compensate for the intrinsic qualities of concrete, oak wood has been chosen to materialize the exterior carpentry, some cladding, custom-made furniture, etc., providing the whole with warmth and harmony.

  • Building Engeneer: Joan Noguer   
  • Facilities Engeneer: QS Enginyeria i Associats SLP    
  • Health and Safety Coordinator: Joan Noguer    
  • Design Team: Lorena Ruzafa, Marga Ferrer  
  • Builder: Construccions Pòrfit     
  • Area: 310 m2   

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