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Home-office in Formentera'
Print 2007-09-07 13:20  

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Home-office in Formentera's Pujol de s’Era’ is a very characteristic tract of countryside in the interior ofFormentera. It comprises some 33,000 m² of wheat and barley fields and a bushed area withsavin, rosemary and juniper, set in a topography that is almost flat. This was to be the locationof a space for living and working.
The building, a strictly geometrical structure of 12 x 12 metres, nestles between theexisting vegetation and a remnant of a traditionally crafted drystone wall. The wall establishesthe alignment of the building on the site. Similarly, an old ‘cistern chapel’ determines thelongitudinal axis. This architecture seeks contextualization by way of interaction with thesurroundings, echoing the traditional Formentera architecture, yet avoiding mimicry.
The north-south orientation of the design creates the duality present in the programme:the separation of public activity from private life. The architectural studio is located in thenorthernmost part, which is also the most exposed side. Natural northern light floods the spacethroughout the day. The priority with this space was to avoid any sense of confinement. This was achieved by opening up one of the walls to draw the natural surroundings inside.
The house was planned as a refuge; it opens up fully to the south in search of the sun, aswell as pursuing maximum interaction between interior and exterior. From indoors, the smallwood is perceived as a natural garden needing no alteration or upkeep whatsoever, and givingconsiderable seclusion and privacy.
A nucleus of services is set between the studio and the house, physically separatingwork and private life yet providing shared elements of ‘infrastructure’: library, filing system,bathroom, kitchen, beds, cupboards, machinery and two sliding partitions which enable thetwo main zones to be separated, partitioning off spaces that require privacy the most, such asan adjoining office or a room for guests. In this way a degree of flexibility has been achieved.
A slight staggering of the elevation along the perimeter gives the impression that thebuilding is hovering above the ground on which it is set. This effect represents the transition orfrontier between the architectural intervention and the original, organic features. The envelopeis made of coated thermo-clay blocks and reinforced concrete; an extruded section is the onlypart of the building that involved ‘wet’ construction. The rest of the interior and exterior wallswere dry-built, using glass and iroko wood. The side openings present as incisions slicing thefacade open from top to bottom, fragmenting the east and west elevations and giving them aless massive appearance. The ‘auxiliary’ elements and the furniture were designed followingthe exterior image and with the same materials used for the ‘dry’ interior spaces, therebycontributing to the pursuit of greater simplicity and harmony.’

Categories: Building architectural design, Family homes


 


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