Cadaval & Solà-Morales start this project by reinforcing the relationship to the sea and attracting the sun into the house. Sunflower House is a 2014 house project located on in the border within the hard rock of the Costa Brava and the water of the Mediterranean sea, Spain. This 250.0 m² fully exposed house also offers content spaces that framing a multiplicity of different and specific views, designed as a big solar collector to bring the light into the house.
This house sits between the urban settlement of El Port de la Selva and the wild nature of Cabo de Creus in a small fisherman village in the border of Spain and France. The area of the house site is a place where the Pyrenees get into the water, generating the wildlife richness on the coast and in the water. With its geometry, this house can frame a multiplicity of different and specific views.
Sunflower House is designed fully exposed to the views of the Mediterranean sea. Mel and Geoff never imagine that the plot of their house is exposed to one of the strongest winds of the peninsula tremendously and it almost doesn’t get any direct sun radiation. In order to solve these, the project starts with reinforcing the relation to the sea while attracting the sun into the house at the same time.
The site frontal view is very impressive to the Natural Park of the Cabo de Creus from France with the immensity of the open sea right in front of it. This house project also breaks down the stunning view into the addition of different conditions. Each of small dimensions is positioned to the diverse landscape, articulating the diverse uses of the house.
This project is also about the addition of small units that frame a differentiated view within the transition from one unit to the other. A major open space is generated as a central space of the house. As a big solar collector, the house has a mechanism to bring light and heat in just like a giant sunflower. The generation of a rear patio is responded by the composition of the volumes, enabling the sun radiation into the living room and heat the hole of the house.
The rear patio is oriented and protected from the Tramuntana through the construction, ensuring the maximum radiation inside the house. This patio is also an outdoor living area when Tramuntana is hitting the area. The sequence of two major glazings can enable the sea view from the back rear patio, surrounded by rocks and local vegetation.
Each cube is defined through a solid continuous perimeter, tracing the specific relationship with the house outdoors. All the individual spaces are arranged to generate the ensemble that reacts to the not uniform context and opens to the stunning views. The house experience is continuous from the interior and from any point in the house.
This project relies on its geometry, especially for its struggle and strength. All the materials for this project are typical of the area, including the structure and the outdoor finishes of the walls. Due to the need in responding to the requirements, only the glazing incorporates thicknesses and technologies more typical of skyscrapers than for a project of single houses.
Photographer: Sandra Pereznieto