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    Spanish architects take a tongue-in-cheek approach to building regulations for Catalan farmhouse

    Nathan Johnson

    A newly finished house in a rural Spanish village stands as a tongue-in-cheek response to the council building regulations dictating residential design in the area.

    While MMMMMS House by Barcelona-based Anna and Eugeni Bach (A&EB) architects does adhere to local planning guidelines which dictate that properties must incorporate characteristics typical of traditional rural architecture, it does so in the most subversive way possible.

    The regulations called for the use of stone cladding, a 25 degree pitched gable roof and small windows, however, the architects aimed to break away from the image of the Catalan farmhouse by making their own adaptions.

    The roof itself is unfinished on the eastern side of the building where the pitched roof profile is translated into a skeletal frame that extends over a large terraced area.  The open roof is designed to be adaptable by the clients who could choose to add shading elements or climbing plants at a later date.

    The majority of the building's exterior is brick cladding, painted white but left without any stuccoed or rendered finish, highlighting its materiality.  Inside the brick is left bare and along with other robust elements, reference an expansive shed.

    The house does feature stone cladding—ensuring A&EB ticked that box on the regulation checklist—however they chose to use non-structural vertical stone cladding as a feature to save on costs and give the home a more contemporary feel.

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    Inside the house the circulation spaces are spacious, airy and light filled thanks to double-height spaces with clerestory windows.  Conversely, A&EB created a series of box-like spaces for the bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen throughout the house with large and bare structural brick walls.

    A&EB architects may have sought to undermine the conservative building regulations dictating what can and can’t be built on their site, but in doing so they have crafted a home that still pays tribute to the architectural vernacular and culture of the area.

    Images: Eugini Bach.

     

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