The winning project

Architect: Harquitectes, Spain
Location: Granollers, Barcelona, Spain
Construction period: 10.2011 – 03.2014
Purpose: Family home and guest house
Useable floor area: 673 m²
Brick type: Clay blocks, facing bricks, clay pavers
 
House 1014, located in the historic center of Granollers, sets an example of how to use “left-over” space that often exists in urban areas. Accessible from two streets and surrounded by fire walls, this very long and narrow space with a width of only 6.5 m presents extreme site conditions.
 
Following the client’s desire to differentiate the home into two independent zones, the architects created a sequence of alternating interior and exterior spaces, consisting of an intimate home and guest house, terraces and atria. This layout evokes some kind of ambiguity about what is interior and what is exterior. The east-west orientation of the property and the surrounding walls conveyed a basin-like feeling and made it difficult to achieve a good solar gain. These poor conditions and the desire for more privacy even on the ground floor led to the decision to set back the building and create patios at both street fronts. Not only do these forecourts bring light into the rooms, they also aid natural ventilation and simultaneously create transition areas.
 
“When we design, we always try to imagine the possibilities of this space. We understand buildings not only as an object, but also in terms of behavior. The brick structure deals with real behavior, real sensation: What you see is true, it’s real!” the architects explain.
 
Special attention was given to the construction of the double-skin brick masonry. The different formats of bricks group together as bands of structuring ornaments, resulting in a unified artwork of brick.

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