Narch Designs A Semi-Transparent Home In Catalonia
Spanish studio Narch has designed ‘Calders House’, a semi-transparent house lined with bay windows for a family in a small village in Catalonia.
‘Calders House’ is a two-story building which appears see-through thanks to its giant windows and “wall-less” interior. The two floors are interconnected through double-height interiors and mesh banisters that offer transparency throughout the house. These line the staircases and the mezzanine balcony that runs around the second floor: “We wanted to create ‘just a roof’” the architects explain. Narch used a concrete frame crossed with horizontal slabs of steel to create the foundations of the structure, which has a 240-meter-square footprint. This structure defines the form of the home. The house blends the lines between exterior and interior, opening up the living space to the sky outside. Narch’s aim was to instill a feeling of “openness” and connection to the rich surrounding landscape — the natural park Sant Llorenç del Munt i l´Obac lies on the doorstep.
The client, a couple with two young children, requested that the home include an office, common living space, three private rooms, two bathrooms and a garage. Aside from this, they were open to new suggestions and design layouts. Narch decided to place the garage and the studio on the street level (the upper floor) and position the common living area and bedrooms on the ground floor in order to connect them with the garden. This was in contrast to the rest of the neighboring houses where the sloping landscape had forced most buildings to have their garage on the ground floor next to the garden.