Modernizing An Historic House in the Pyrenees

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By Huckberry / Published by Huckberry
How Spanish Architects generated a new and contemporary space for living while respecting its historic envelope.

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.

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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.

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

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

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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.  

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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.

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


Originally Published on Huckberry.com

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