A Winning Residence in the Spanish Pyrenees Mixes Modern and Rustic

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By Michele Koh Morollo
Located in Spain’s Eastern Pyrenees, House in La Cerdanya by Dom Arquitectura sits in a restored, historic settlement, expressing its contemporary personality while adhering to strict heritage building regulations.

The heritage site is surrounded by the breathtaking mountains and valleys of Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park. To meld built and natural environments, local construction regulations require the facades of homes to be built using only materials traditional to the region of La Cerdanya, such as locally sourced stone and artisanal clay tiles.

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Pablo Serrano Elorduy, founder of Barcelona studio Dom Arquitectura, used three different materials—the mandatory stone and the clay tiles, and a timber framework—for the foundation of the house, then incorporated iron for additional joint support. 

Pablo Serrano Elorduy, founder of Barcelona studio Dom Arquitectura, used three different materials—the mandatory stone and the clay tiles, and a timber framework—for the foundation of the house, then incorporated iron for additional joint support. 

"The stone wall slightly protrudes above the roofs and highlights the simple forms guided by the plot’s shape," says Elorduy. "The wall draws a series of slopes and counter slopes providing the house with a singular geometry." 

"The stone wall slightly protrudes above the roofs and highlights the simple forms guided by the plot’s shape," says Elorduy. "The wall draws a series of slopes and counter slopes providing the house with a singular geometry." 

"The challenge was set—to build a home that will harmoniously marry very traditional elements, with a contemporary and cozy atmosphere," says Pablo Serrano Elorduy, founder of Barcelona studio Dom Arquitectura.

The entrance to the house is through an access hall located at the street level. 

The entrance to the house is through an access hall located at the street level. 

The plot slopes downward from street level. 

The plot slopes downward from street level. 

 The roofs of both wings converge at the garden to create a continuous porch around the house. 

 The roofs of both wings converge at the garden to create a continuous porch around the house. 

The architects set the garage and access hall at street level, but embedded the rest of the program 8.5 feet below for better access to the garden.

The architects set the garage and access hall at street level, but embedded the rest of the program 8.5 feet below for better access to the garden.

The living, dining, and kitchen spaces flow into one another.

The living, dining, and kitchen spaces flow into one another.

The L-shaped house has two perpendicular wings: one that contains the common areas, and another that contains the bedrooms.

The L-shaped house has two perpendicular wings: one that contains the common areas, and another that contains the bedrooms.

Large expanses of glazing visually connect the living room with the garden.

Large expanses of glazing visually connect the living room with the garden.

Local building regulations also call for the inclusion of architectural features such as gardens, porches, and a traditional Cerdanya-style gate. 

Local building regulations also call for the inclusion of architectural features such as gardens, porches, and a traditional Cerdanya-style gate. 

The modern, minimalist kitchen contrasts the home's more rugged exterior.

The modern, minimalist kitchen contrasts the home's more rugged exterior.

A hallway leads up to the open-plan living, dining, and kitchen areas.

A hallway leads up to the open-plan living, dining, and kitchen areas.

An elongated skylight was installed above the corridor that runs along the bedrooms. The walls of this corridor are made with natural clay to help control humidity levels.

An elongated skylight was installed above the corridor that runs along the bedrooms. The walls of this corridor are made with natural clay to help control humidity levels.

"In the traditional rural architecture of the region, the houses were enclosed towards the exterior in a gesture of protection," says Elorduy. "This project imitates those gestures." House in La Cerdanya closes itself off from the street and its neighbor immediately to the north, but opens up to the garden and views of the natural landscape.

The windows frame beautiful views of the outdoors.

The windows frame beautiful views of the outdoors.

The house has three bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms.

The house has three bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms.

Bunk beds outfit the children's bedroom.

Bunk beds outfit the children's bedroom.

The showers and bathrooms, positioned along the exterior walls, benefit from natural light and ventilation.

The showers and bathrooms, positioned along the exterior walls, benefit from natural light and ventilation.

House in La Cerdanya 3D model

House in La Cerdanya 3D model

House in La Cerdanya floor plan

House in La Cerdanya floor plan


Project Credits: 

 Architecture: Dom Arquitectura / @dom_arquitectura

Builder: Fustes Sebastia 

Structural engineering: Codi Estudi d'Arquitectura

Lighting design: Contract Deco 

Photography: Jordi Anguera Architecture Photography