High above the city of Barcelona, at the foot of the Tibidabo, lies a small refugium, which allows to stressed out metropolitan to disengage from the hustle and bustle of every-day-life.
Even in the times of the ancient Roman Empire, people knew about the beneficial effect of nature on the human body. For the time being the epitome of an ideal residence was the ‘Villae urbanae’ with its magnificent gardens.
Likewise within living memory people tried to build their own ‘artificial paradise’ as a shelter, as a source of inspiration or just to impress.Famous architects strived to create the perfect housing, harmonizing within its adequate surroundings; like Palladio with his ‘Villa Rotonda’:
The site is as pleasant and delightful as can be found, because it is in a small hill of very easy access, and is watered on one side by […] a river; and on the other it is encompassed about with most pleasant risings which look like a very great theatre and are all cultivated about with most excellent fruits and most exquisite vines and therefore as it enjoys from every part most beautiful views, some of which are limited, some more extended, and others which terminate with the horizon, […]
Isaac Ware, The Four Books of Palladio’s Architecture, London, 1738, p. 41
Yet another approach to this topic we find with a more recent architect ‘Le Corbusier’ – who described his Villa Savoye in a more vibrant way but not less poetic:
Le site: une vaste pelouse bombée en dôme aplati […]. La maison est une boîte en l’air […] au milieu des prairies dominant le verger […] Le plan est pur […] Il à sa juste place dans l’agreste paysage de Poissy […]. Les habitants, venus ici parce que cette champagne agreste était belle avec sa vie de champagne, ils la contempleront, maintenue intacte, du haut de leur jardin suspendu ou des quatre faces de leurs fenêtres en longueur. Leur vie domestique sera inserée dans un rêve virgilien.
Le Corbusier, Précisions sur un état présent de lárchitecture et de l’urbanisme, Paris, 1930, pp. 136-38
Based on these fascinating concepts we got inspired to this Mediterranean Villa.
Like a telescope the house is focussing on the marvellous view of downtown Barcelona and the Mediterranean cost. The private areas are located at the rear part of the dwelling, nestling into the mountain. A sharp wedge represents the boundary to the common spaces as well as a living room, cutting out a stupendous view to the sea, when at the time acting as a visual landmark for the nonconforming villa.
In consideration of the concept of an ‘enclosed garden’ with a special attention to Corbusiers Villa Savoye we arranged the whole site. It is interesting how exact his description fits to the idea of a Mediterranean Garden.
As a tribute to the French master we reproduced his ‘Cabanon’ de Cap St Martin on the top of the terrace as a small hideaway. Therefore this provides another possibility for self-communion so that as soon as one crosses the gate, one is engulfed in a peaceful yet sonorous silence so beloved by the French Master Architect.