A plot of land perpendicular to the sea, 250m long and 18m wide.
The plot, an area under cultivation, runs from the beach to a top end with a few old ruins, bamboo and lemon trees.
The house 2 for a photographer is sited at the end of the plot. Built on a platform raised 70 cm above the floodable natural terrain, three small volumes, of irregular shape in plan and section, strike up a dialogue across an empty space with long sightlines.
The programme is accordingly split up into the different bodies. The volume situated to the east is intended for the lounge, dining room, larder and kitchen and has a small overhead-lit mezzanine in which a few pieces of primitive art from the owner’s collection are displayed.
Housed in the body situated to the rear of the platform are the bedroom, clothes cupboard, bathroom, a small study area and the library in the upper part.
Situated to the south and having a latticework facade, the third volume houses the studio plus a spare bedroom and bathroom, as well as a mirador on its roof, to which one accedes via an outside stairway.
Finally, reconstructed at the far end of the plot of land is an old building that accommodates the laundry and storage areas and the installations of the house.
A stand of sixty washingtonia palm trees conducts us from the beach to the house.
The volumetric decomposition responds to the landscape and constructional conditions, and to those of a light that suggests a Picasso picture painted in the area, now in the muse Picasso in Paris.
The central void is turned into the house’s principal space, a tense space geometrically defined in its upper area by the tall opaque bodies of the different pavilions. Up to a height of 2.10m, the ground plane, however, is an uninterrupted spot that brings the different interior spaces in shadow into a rapport with the sea views, the plant background and the living areas on the platform.
The fragmented play of volumes reminds us of Picasso’s Cubist composition. The chiaroscuro and intense light of this part of the Mediterranean balance the plenitude of the topography of the delta as whole.
Despite its reduced size, this creation addresses issues of architectural interest that have represented, for our studio, the nucleus of the research work undertaken over recent years: conceptual abstraction in relation to landscape; social organisation, with the house functioning as a small system (autonomous parts put side by side); the handling of the light and chiaroscuro that is gradually established between the different, visually concatenated rooms; or the materialisation of the interior walling of striped, mechanical brick which vibrates with the light, the polish of the flooring constructed in situ or the texture of the whitewashed reeds, which contribute to emphasising the more sensitive and physical aspects of the architectural work.
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