Modernizing An Historic House in the Pyrenees

How Spanish Architects generated a new and contemporary space for living while respecting its historic envelope.
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Most Huckberry readers have probably felt it: the yearning for the simple life simultaneous to but contrasted with the tug of modern technology’s convenience. Think: relaxing in a rustic cabin with tablet in hand.

That’s exactly the feel of this Cadaval & Solà-Morales’ house, tucked away in the Aran Valley of the Spanish Pyrenees.

The architects’ starting point was an historic house made from dry, grey stone found in the surrounding region. In their view: befitting of the surrounding environment.

The inside, though? Its characteristics – compactness, minimum openings, and obscure interiors – denied its mountaintop environment. So, they gutted it, opting for something altogether different.

In the words of Cadaval & Solà-Morales: the idea is to generate new and contemporary spaces for living, respecting the historic envelope.

What they ended up with was an outside-inside contrast that couldn’t be starker. From the outside, the house looks at one with those in the vicinity: simple, quiet, and almost integrated with the landscape. But within the stone walls: colorful, open and naturally-lit spaces dominate creating a modern feel atypical of an old, stone home.  

But the contrast works – a reminder that there is value in new and old school alike – creating a perfectly balanced and livable space. One in which you feel away from it all yet still a part of the modern world.

And for those not keen on mixing architecture and philosophy, it all comes with a pretty nice view. [H]

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Words by Brandon Workman. Photos by Cadaval & Sola-Morales




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