In the bustling urban landscape of Barcelona, where modernity meets antiquity, a fresh structure has come to fruition: the House 1616. Nestled between partition walls, this single-family house is a novel creation by HARQUITECTES. Conceptualized in 2016 and brought to completion in 2022, this 246-square-meter dwelling stands as a testament to the evolving nature of urban living, harmoniously blending into its dense surroundings yet still striking a distinctive architectural conversation.
House 1616 Technical Information
- Architects1-3: HARQUITECTES
- Location: Barcelona, Spain
- Topics: Spanish Houses
- Area: 246 m2
- Project Year: 2016 – 2022
- Photographs: © Adrià Goula
To adjust the diverse uses without losing the clarity of the space, the conventional bearing walls parallel to the façade dissolves in a dense grid of cross-shaped brick pillars that defines the main attributes of the space and order the uses of the floor and even of the façades.– HARQUITECTES
House 1616 Photographs
Privacy and Space: A Vertical Division
One of the unique aspects of House 1616 is its vertical division, whereby each of the three levels is assigned a different user profile. This decision ingeniously enhances privacy, with the ground floor dedicated to the communal and social activities of the family. The design takes advantage of an original structure that already existed in the plot, creating a spatial continuity that sets the tone for the rest of the house.
Ascending the home, the first floor is designed as a multipurpose space for children – a realm for playing, studying, and resting. The upper floor, slightly smaller than the ones below, is set aside for the parents, offering a sanctuary for rest and work, a retreat from the busy life outside the walls.
Interaction with the Exterior: A Breath of Fresh Air
The other elemental decision in House 1616’s design lies in its relationship with the exterior. Unlike conventional urban homes, the house integrates the outside world by placing the staircase on the street side of the home, functioning as a de facto patio. This strategic move not only facilitates natural ventilation but also allows the home to maintain a sense of tranquility, effectively eliminating any noise or disturbances from the street.
Moreover, this design decision enables the living floors to remain practically diaphanous, creating an airy, open feel that invites light and nature into the house. The space of the staircase becomes more than just a transition zone; it is an integral part of the home’s fabric, linking the internal spaces with the external environment.
Structural Harmony: The Beauty in the Details
One cannot ignore the home’s innovative structure – a masterful dance between aesthetic, functionality, and stability. Rather than relying on conventional bearing walls parallel to the façade, House 1616 dissolves these barriers in favor of a dense grid of cross-shaped brick pillars.
These slender pillars not only define the core attributes of the space but also order the uses of the floors and even the façades. The horizontal slabs transmit forces to these pillars through equally slender ribs, creating a mesmerizing lattice structure that not only supports the building but also adds a unique architectural charm.
The House 1616 in Barcelona offers an inspiring example of urban architectural design, celebrating privacy, openness, and structural innovation. Its thoughtful design transcends conventional housing paradigms, offering a promising model for future urban homes. This project by HARQUITECTES is indeed a worthy addition to the rich architectural tapestry of Barcelona.
House 1616 Plans
House 1616 Image Gallery
HARQUITECTES is an architecture firm based in Sabadell, near Barcelona, Spain. The firm was co-founded in 2000 by architects David Lorente, Josep Ricart, Xavier Ros, and Roger Tudó. Known for their innovative, sustainable, and context-responsive architectural designs, HARQUITECTES has worked on a wide range of projects, from single-family homes to educational institutions and public buildings. Their meticulous research into materials and construction techniques emphasizes sustainability and resource efficiency. This attention to detail has led to their recognition with numerous awards, and their work is extensively published.
- Principals: David Lorente, Josep Ricart, Xavier Ros, Roger Tudó
- Collaborators: Sara Ferran, Meri Mensa, Blai Cabrero, Maria Azkarate
- Team: DSM arquitectura (Structural Engineering), Carles Bou (Quantity Surveyor), Carme Ferrer (landscape), ARTÍFEX (construction)