This Low-Impact Home Links a Family Closer to Each Other and the Spanish Landscape

This Low-Impact Home Links a Family Closer to Each Other and the Spanish Landscape

By Julia Brenner
Nestled in the wine country of Tarragona, Spain, Casa Almudena emphasizes connection through an intriguing open-plan concept and elements of indoor/outdoor living.

Built for a young family of four, Casa Almudena was conceived by architect Jesús Perales as a sustainable, single-story home with one continuous flow. By removing formal barriers between living areas and including ample windows and doorways, the design encourages connectedness, both to one another and to the surrounding landscape of the Baix Penedès vineyards.

The project was led by architect Jesús Perales, who recently won the XI Bienal Alejandro de la Sota - Muestra de Arquitectura de Tarragona.

Organic warmth is achieved from the use of exposed materials throughout the home, specifically ceramic, concrete, and wood.

According to Perales, "the objective was clear: for all the members of this small family to feel connected, irrespective of where they are in the house." Perales goes on to explain that the concept of connectedness pushed the team to create a home with circularity, in which the different parts of the house remained visible regardless of where one is situated. 

The home received an "A" energy rating and an "A" emissions rating for use of ACS solar panels, low primary energy consumption (15.76 kWh / year m2), and low CO2 emissions (2.73 kg CO2/m2 year).

"It doesn't matter if you are preparing dinner while the children are doing their homework, you always have the feeling that the rest of the family are with you." —Jesús Perales, architect

Each room in the house was built independently, piece by piece, resulting in visually unique spaces with shared materiality.  

While the home is only 735 square feet, an accessible flow between indoor/outdoor living spaces creates a feeling of expansiveness. 

The home is connected by continuous passageways that join together in a central courtyard. 

The structural circularity of the house is created via several continuous passageways that meet together in a central inner courtyard. The courtyard serves as an outdoor living area as well as a hub from which all interior living areas flow. The end result is an elegant extension between rooms and indoor/outdoor spaces.  

Once the structure was completed, the walls and ceilings were insulated with wood (Gutex Cubierta), which the team implemented as a more natural and breathable alternative to a thermal bridge.  

The interior design includes dedicated spaces for the family's creative pursuits, such as music, art, and cooking.

Underfloor heating adds warmth to the home's exposed concrete flooring. 

 The team used concrete roofing throughout, allowing the material history evident in the formwork and natural imperfections to come through. 

"We wanted to maintain a certain degree of privacy with regards to the street
and their neighbors, while still opening the house up to a beautiful vineyard.
The result is a house with a walled façade, featuring irregular shapes that open up to the
landscape," says project architect Jesús Perales. 

While only 735 square feet, the thoughtful design of Casa Almudena allows the home to feel expansive rather than small, with an organic sensibility that is inherently warm, inviting, and perfectly suited to its inhabitants and to the surrounding landscape. 

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Project Credits: 

Architect of Record: Jesús Perales / 

Collaborators: Anthony Benitez Martin, architect, Marc Riera Arbós, technical architect

Developers: Almudena Álvarez Sánchez and Jorge Ybarra Corpas

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