Built into the gentle hills of Avia, Spain, Bitxo House, by Lagula Architectes, sits quietly – almost seamlessly – among the surroundings of this Barcelona suburb. While its outward appearance blends in with the simplicity of the rural neighborhood, the interior is anything but ordinary….
Architectural consultants Eduardo Reus and Jordi Culell began the residential construction with a thoughtfully outlined hierarchical plan that began with the exterior. A precise and crucial concrete coating adorns the entire facade, protecting the home from natural elements. A portion of the front has been embellished with a unique blend of expansive windows, brick lattice and carpentry work, giving the residence a charming curb appeal.
Covering the home is a canopy of high-gloss, fire red tiles, that has been specifically slopped towards the street to reflect the shimmering rays of the setting sun, across the neighboring homes at the end of each day. With this slight bend in the roof, the house appears to bow to passersby and offers a brief glimpse at the meticulous attention to detail that went into the construction of the home.
The foundation of Bitxo House has been designed to embrace the topography of the Catalan Pre-Coastal Range that runs beneath the framework rather than leveling the ground to construct an even infrastructure. The hallways seamlessly flow with the slight peaks and valleys of the landscape and break out into six sections that forge a trail throughout the two-floors:
The first portion is a ramp that leads from the front entry down to the main living area. A second ramp climbs through the other side of the living room into the kitchen and dining space. The next hallway brings a change in direction with five steps that turn directly into a second seating area. The hallway continues with five more steps up that stop outside of the primary bedroom. The third and final set of stairs traverse through two additional bedrooms with the winding hall coming to a stop on the second floor at an interior balcony that overlooks the first floor.
With the layout of the home complete, the architectural team began their work on the final phase of their plan, the interior design. The minimalist theme of the exterior was carried out indoors with concrete used as the primary surface material, while floor-to-ceiling windows were added to the main living rooms to allow plenty of natural light to filter throughout the house.
To break up the monotony of the ultra-modern, concrete aesthetic, Reus and Culell installed a one-of-a-kind tile matrix through the home’s corridors. Vertical subway tiles were applied strategically, albeit random to the untrained eye, upon walls and floors, spreading around the residence like a vibrant kaleidoscope.
The tiles were manufacture by Ceràmica Cumella and were fired with a glaze in striking shades of orange, green, blue, purple and other energetic hues. Each section of the eccentric tile work is defined by a different dominating shade with accent pieces in contrasting colors filtered throughout.
Lagula Architecturas’ unique design of the Bitxo house is a reminder to all that first impressions aren’t always as they seem and that we must never judge a house by its facade.