Bajet Giramé . Burckhardt

Las 3 Marías . TARRAGONA

Bajet Giramé . Burckhardt . Las 3 Marías . TARRAGONA afasia (1)

Bajet Giramé Architects . Nicolas Burckhardt Architects . photos: © José Hevia

Three sisters in the Mediterranean:
The project enhances—aiming to exaggerate—the ‘courtyard-house’ character of a summer residence from the sixties in the Mediterranean coast of Spain. A house that three sisters in their thirties have decided to share as a summer home. This renovated holiday house is a deliberately ambiguous habitat, between inside and outside, openly diverse, as wide and sunny as intimate and shady; offering coves, topographies, loggias and gardens, in a spatial continuum that intends to provide a landscape of vitality and delight.

Gregarious and playful:
The preexistence of a wall enclosure in the garden—which distinguished two areas of the surrounding patios, while connecting them by means of four arches—is echoed throughout the site. This strategy results in a gregarious and playful matrix of exterior and interior rooms, of different dimensions, character, light and temperature; all of them interconnected by both old and new arches.

Domestic opening (multiplicity of enclosures):
The pre-existing house was based on closed spatiality with segregated and predetermined uses, based on traditional domestic privacy. Against this, the new habitat opens—through a steel structure merged into window frames— a large chamber that includes living, dining, kitchen and loggia areas. Likewise, the pre-existing long corridor has been blurred: widely connected with the living area, the corridor has, in both ends, generous pivoting doors, providing spatial continuity with large versatile rooms of indeterminate function.

Steel thresholds:
The façade openings are superimposed with different steel layers, mediating on the relationship between interior and exterior. On the outside, a perforated sheet forms a sliding gate that makes possible sleeping with the window open. Inside, rectangular folding window frames allows full exterior opening.

Mud Topographies:
The manifold continuity of the whole has been emphasized by a beautiful hand-crafted tapestry of Valencian terracotta tiles. This pavement unifies garden and house, interior and exterior on the same topography; while it suggests difference and hierarchy through its pattern, acknowledging rooms and edges; building walkways, shelves, benches and wall claddings.

Vernacular thermodynamics
In this summer house, without air conditioning, it’s never too hot. Following ordinary construction methods, the existing pitched roof sits on top of a dense matrix of walls which provide a ventilated cavity while increasing greatly thermal inertia. This thermal comfort is improved with additional cross ventilation and sun protection. In the garden, hard surfaces have been reduced to increase greenery, aiming to improve atmospheric humidity and perceived ambient comfort.