At one extreme, and on the lower level, stacked wine rack modules make up the walls of a fortress-like home – the gaps filled in with colorful glass, a modern twist on traditionally colorful Spanish architecture and the red clay of classic Spanish roof tiles. At the other extreme of this unusual duplex, hovering above, hangs a looming concrete box with punched-out openings and glass infill – it seems to float on air.
Aside from having the same architect (Javier Peña of Xpiral), these two seemingly opposite structures share certain rhythms and box-like shapes, but are clearly distinct – far more so than your typical split-level house or side-divided home.
The strategies for separating each piece are not just artistic choices, but responses to the surrounding environment and opportunities presented on the first and second levels of the sloped plot.
The higher side faces the mountains and sky, while the lower looks down on the land below – overlapping plans make the entire design look like part of one building, but these views set the levels well apart.
There are clever places where the materials overlap – the wine-rack walls forming a fence for the upper level, for example – but one gets the overwhelming sense that each resident owns their own unique territory and custom set of spaces even though they share the same site.
More from the architects
“Casa tierra takes the form of a plinth constructed entirely from ceramic pieces combined with coloured elements. Casa cielo is structurally comprised of unfinished concrete, supported by the other module in its lower part and finished in reflective glass.”
“The ceramic module aims to be something more than simply the facade of Casa tierra, it is constructed with the intention of forming the principle module of the project. It additionally lays out the diverse partitions of Casa tierra and Casa cielo and adds different degrees of transparency and light which is offered by the ceramic wine rack section made by the commercial brand ‘Cerámica Collado’.”