Aiguablava Case study Stgilat Home

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2019-06-04
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A pilot house connects the most avant-garde technology with the mediterranean lifestyle

The Stgilat Aiguablava villa by Enric Ruiz-Geli / Cloud 9 is a pilot project based on a Smart version of Mediterranean Architecture, with the most advanced technology, digital manufacturing, sustainable and integrated in the Empordà and Costa Brava environment.

  • For the main house we have worked on a reinvention of the Catalan Volta developed with advanced fiberglass structure engineering.

  • The study has collaborated with the prestigious Art Center College of Design Pasadena for the design of an experimental pavilion, which is defined as a "Mediterranean case study", adjacent to the house.

  • For this project, next generation materials have been used to create light and sustainable structures.

A mediterranean case study

The number one goal of this project is not to make a villa, it is to make a "Case Study".

Ruiz-Geli points out references such as Richard Neutra or Eames to define this concept. In the 50s, Richard Neutra established in Los Angeles a new form of construction with prefabricated elements, with rapid manufacturing and assembly. This supposed a revolution, saving the costs and giving access to these houses to the middle class.

Charles and Ray Eames introduced aluminum in the production of prefabricated parts.

In the same way, Stgilat Aiguablava defines a pilot project that has as a script the Mediterranean Architecture in Smart version, with the most advanced technology, digital manufacturing, sustainable, integrated in nature, bringing innovation to the Empordà and the Costa Brava, thinking that the territory is a landscape of added value that agglutinates culture.

The client of this project is a Suiss family, passionate about Mediterranean culture and lifestyle, and whose priority was the quality of architecture and R&D&I , putting them ahead of luxury, to achieve a space of well-being.

Under this premise, Enric Ruiz-Geli proposes architecture that generates sensorial, corporal experiences, on every level, with a holistic approach.

The main housing: Reinvention of the Catalan Volta

The Catalan Volta configures the main house, a large space like the Empordà farmhouses that articulate the interior life of the house. The innovation here means to continue with the trajectory of the Catalan Volta, a technique that has extraordinary advantages: it is a Mediterranean material, it only works in compression, it presents very satisfactory energy performance, since it produces freshness inside in a scenario of external heat and exhibits thermal inertia in a winter scenario. It is also a material with porosity and generates good natural breathing for the people who inhabit it. Arcs with minimal possible material were designed, being both light and efficient.

The reinvention of the Catalan Volta for this project has been developed with advanced fiberglass structure engineering, while the challenge of the ceramics craftsman, Toni Cumella, was to create a ceramic for the Catalan Volta that meets the guidelines of the site's nature.

The external profile of the volta is added to the landscape by following the curves of the surrounding mountains. The greenish tones of the exterior ceramics are integrated into the natural colors of the place. Inside, a special ceramic piece has been designed to achieve unbeatable quality acoustics.

Integration in the landscape and local culture: the Empordà

The key to this project is its integration into the environment. The architect Enric Ruiz-Geli born in Figueres, in the heart of the Catalan Empordà, establishes a dialogue with the landscape, culture and materials of this land to shape the project.

The ceramics, the warm Mediterranean materials, the freshness, the sun and the shade, the colors, the terraces and the curves of the coastal geography are elements that inspired and conditioned the design of the Villa Stigilat Aiguablava.

The wild garden of the estate has preserved the existing trees and the pool collects rainwater, filtering it with natural processes.

In this dialogue with the environment, the project provides sustainable architecture, innovative and digitally manufactured that adds value to the territory, and embodies the Mediterranean culture and way of life.

"When I was an architecture student I visited Pep Llinàs' pergola house in Begur. Later I had Esteve Bonell as a teacher and visited his house, which he also designed in Begur. I would like to think that the house we have designed in Aiguablava is one more step in that history of excellence in architecture that these architects passed on to us during my years in the ETSAB". Enric Ruiz-Geli

The experimental pavilion

The project has an ephemeral and experimental pavilion, dedicated to innovation, designed in collaboration with the prestigious Art Center College of Design Pasadena, of the United States, one of the best artistic centers, where the director Zack Snyder was trained, as well as the designers for Apple, BMW or Tesla stores.

Professors David Mocarski, James Meraz, Jason Pilarski and Kenneth Cameron visited Barcelona with four of their students to develop the construction.

The pavilion structure, elaborated on the basis of prototypes, is built with inflatable formwork inside which an intelligent, light and ecological concrete is injected, giving it an organic shape, inspired by the surrounding pinetrees.

The light structure and the pavilion windows with a natural pine resin filter allow us to propose symbiotic relationships between technology and nature to achieve a deeper connection with emotions, giving rise to a space of refuge and privacy.

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