a modern farmhouse in the foothills of the pyrenees
SAU workshop leads to Vidrà, a Catalan town nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenees, to design their Vivet Houses. The architecture is created to integrate contemporary design and minimalist materials, with the spirit of its rural location. Taking shape as a pair of houses, the project presents a modern interpretation of the traditional country house, or masia, that can be found throughout the region. The design team notes that the often sun-drenched site enjoys panoramic views of both the hilly landscape and the picturesque village with its stone church and bell tower.
images © Andres Flajszer | @andresflajszer
With its Vivet Houses, the architects in Taller SAU they collaborate with the carpentry company Vivet de Vidrà, owner of the site. ‘The main objectives of the project are, on the one hand, to achieve a low environmental impact and high energy efficiency’, explains the team: ‘on the other, to offer a high-quality project at a competitive cost and, finally, to propose an architecture fully integrated into the landscape.’
passive design by taller sau
Taller SAU’s Vivet Houses saw the use of bare, neutral materials that celebrate thoughtful design while ensuring reduced environmental impact during construction. Each structure thus takes shape on a large concrete plinth to negotiate the sloping plot. The entire project is built with a plywood structure, interior finishes of three-layer fir panels, wood fiber insulation and a ventilated façade made of a mixed wood-cement panel.
To integrate passive cooling strategies, the number of openings is reduced to the essential ones, and they are strategically located to achieve good solar radiation. The team continues: “In this way, the houses behave very well since the heat channels are almost not broken, minimizing energy consumption throughout their useful life.”
vivet houses: a contemporary abstraction of the rural site
The design team further contributes to project efficiency by employing a standardized modular logic. The interior design is informed by the structure’s modular panels, a strategy that significantly reduces both material waste and costs. The floor plan displays ultra-efficient organization, covering as little space as possible while maintaining high-quality spaces.
Lastly, the material palette and architectural language responds directly to the surrounding landscape. While the wood, tile, and composite panels of the façade evoke the countryside and its appearance, the volume itself stands as a modern abstraction of Vidrà’s grand 19th-century farmhouses.
wood and cement composite panels form the facade
hybridizing the old and the new, the architecture harmonizes with its site