An x-shaped concrete house with a rooftop pavilion hangs over the edge of a hillside in Barcelona, Spain, maximizing natural daylighting on the interior as well as the view. Designed by architects Cadaval & Sola-Morales, X House is a two-story home with four glassed-in triangular recesses that create its distinctive shape.
The front recess lengthens the area of glass on the front of the house, giving each side a distinct view of the city, the sea and the mountains. Another cutout avoids a tree. Situating the windows like this makes the home feel more secluded from the inside, preventing views of neighboring houses.
The hillside location also disguises the home from the street, with a garage on the top level and a recessed entrance. The flat roof creates a recreation area with views that just can’t be replicated with a more conventional design.
Inside, the top floor plays host to the owners’ suite, while common areas are double-height, giving them an expansive feeling. Below, in the sloping yard, is a trapezoidal swimming pool that can be seen from the front windows.
More from the architects
“The X House project aims to solve by the definition of a system, language, or even through a unique form, a number of inquiries that rise up when we read the specific given site: how to protect and give protagonism to an impressive pine, that is located on the top of the site, and that makes access and approximation to the house extremely complex from the street; how to avoid deciding between the views to the sea and those to the mountains, and allow both visions in opposite directions; how to neutralize through form the presence of the contiguous constructions, to build up a fake isolation that denies the neighbours; how to double the main views, permitting quality frontal views from the front and the rear of the house; how to resolve so many a priories with a simple movement that answers to all of the previous aims without prioritizing nor explicitly formulating a response to any of them.”
“The form, a unique form, is the result of a long process of search of individual answers to each of those challenges; thus, the form is not an a priori, but an effort to give a unitary response that satisfies each of the questions rose up in the design process.”