Excerpt: Casa del Roure, designed by the architectural firm ENDALT Arquitectes, is a housing project that seeks spatial and functional interest. Along with the that passive mechanisms that allow energy-efficiency is also considered. Patios are used to facilitate this and are an intrinsic element in the Mediterranean tradition. The location and orientation of each patio results in one being warmer and the other cooler, so that each can be optimised at corresponding times of the year, in addition to promoting cross ventilation in the day-area of the home.
[Text as submitted by Architect] The house is located in a metropolitan town of València, in an urbanized area under development. The project is integrated among a multitude of newly built homes with no common architectural roots of any kind. Therefore, it was difficult to find a starting point for the project beyond the client’s program references, which had three very clear premises: a clear difference between the day-area and the night-area, a basement for leisure and that the housing program must be manifested entirely on one floor.
On one hand, the project seeks to provide housing with spatial and functional interest, and on the other, with passive mechanisms that allow energy-efficiency. Patios are used to facilitate this and are an intrinsic element in the Mediterranean tradition. Patios have numerous climatic advantages and serve to fulfill three objectives of the housing design: separating the day and night areas, finding a good, sunny orientation for the living area and offering a habitable basement with ventilation and natural light.
Thus, the project has two patios at different heights: the patio to the north that opens at basement level and the central patio to the south that opens at the level of the living room and the dining room. The location and orientation of each patio results in one being warmer and the other cooler, so that each can be optimised at corresponding times of the year, in addition to promoting cross ventilation in the day-area of the home.
The orientation of the plot to the north is another great challenge. The logical thought is to adjoin the day area to the facade of the house, however this requires a north orientation of . That arrangement of the central patio, which is linked to the day-area since it is located at the same level, provides the day-area with correct lighting and a more optimal orientation, allowing also for the bedrooms to be placed at the rear of the house, improving privacy.
Another decision of the project was to create a privacy filter in the central patio of the living area. The result is a wall made of stone gabions that protects the most intimate part of the house and allows for the independent use of the other. This separation is further reinforced by the arrangement of the corridor structure, and the general outline of the house in the form of a hair comb. In this way, the two parts are joined without interfering. Thus, the main internal pathway is designed as a transit to the most private area. It starts from the entrance with a path crossing the basement patio, which acts as a moat here, clearly marking a difference between the public space on the street and the private space that makes up the house. Upon entering and crossing the day-zone, the pathway acquires a completely different characte , due to complete illumination and views of the central patio through the bay window. Thus, the corridor structure acquires other functions that give it interest and meaning.