llorach house, reus
Llorach House is on the Mas Abelló residential estate in Reus, forming part of a complex of row housing built in the late eighties.
It is set into a plot of 76 m², with 8 metres of facade and 22 metres deep. The site is perceptibly horizontal, and faces E-SE to the rear and N-NW to the front.
Local planning regulations require the ten metres at the rear of the property to be set aside as a private garden. Then, at the front, 50% in breadth of the two first metres of depth may be occupied by the garage on the ground floor; the rest may be open. The house itself may therefore occupy the 10 metres left between the two strips and be built to a height of 6 metres.
Between the maximum surface area which can be built according to planning regulations and the maximum surface admitted by legislation on subsidised housing there is a difference which becomes the first challenge facing the project. We will go on to see how this discrepancy is resolved by the creation of a double-height space.
The starting point of the project is to optimise available resources and promote the flexible use of the spaces built. The idea is to produce a relatively small construction laid out in such a way as to enable the occupants to enjoy the spaces beyond where they happen to be at a given moment.
The day-time spaces (kitchen, dining and living rooms) and the garage are laid out on the ground floor. There is also a guest room right next to the main door for greater independence. This space will not actually be used for this purpose most of the time, and is therefore separated from the entrance by sliding doors for easier incorporation into the rest of the ground floor and greater flexibility of use.
Once we pass through the entranceway, we come into the space comprising dining and living room. The ceiling of the former is the lowest permitted by planning regulations (2.50 metres), while the latter is double height with the rest of the house organised around it.
Laid out parallel to the line formed by these two spaces is another, which we could call a service line. It leads from the garage to the office and then to the kitchen, and forms an area separated from the living area by a wall against which a small bathroom and the stairway leading up to the first floor are built. The living and service areas come into contact at either end of this wall.
The stairs up to the first floor occupy the double space created in the living area, providing a point of contact between the house's different spaces.
On the first floor, we can choose between going towards the work area, conceived as an open-plan space with folding doors which can be closed or open up to the double space, or into the bedroom area, over the service sector on the ground floor.
The visual relations produced as we pass through the house are a bonus which allows the spaces to transcend their real dimension. Light, contact with the garden outside - the house overlooks it - and transparency are all added values in a brief which could otherwise have been completely standard.