Casa d’en Jaume Casa PR Guillem Carrera
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Casa d’en Jaume and Casa PR: the charm of living in the heart of Catalonia

Two private homes in Tarragona and Sitges offer a unique atmosphere with a Mediterranean panorama

Guillem Carrera

Casa d’en Jaume Casa PR Guillem Carrera

Guillem Carrera has channeled his creative flare into the design of two homes in the heart of Catalonia in north-eastern Spain, surrounded by Roman remains, port towns and warm welcoming nature: Casa d’en Jaume, just outside Tarragona, and Casa PR, in Sitges, near Barcelona.

Two houses with sweeping views of the surrounding Mediterranean vegetation, carefully devised to follow the unusual make-up of the area and to fit in with the lively and active local community. 

 

Casa d’en Jaume

Casa d'en Jaume - Guillem Carrera © Adrià Goula, courtesy Guillem Carrera

Casa d’en Jaume is positioned within a small triangle-shaped urban area: it is closed on one side by the motorway and by the cemetery on another, in a context with unusual morphological features where most of the buildings stand on plots of agricultural land. Setting out from these characteristics, Guillem Carrera designed Casa d’en Jaume so that it could reflect the personality of its owners ‒ a family closely connected with tradition and nature. The garden is the undisputed star both of the interiors ‒ directly connected through the ground-floor loggia ‒ and of the outdoor spaces, which receive sun or shade depending on the time of day and use.

The loggia is positioned centrally to the plan and various spaces lead from it: on one side is a bedroom suite with bathroom and antechamber, while on the other is the living area with kitchen and double-height dining room. This latter is connected to a study on the first floor and to the basement level, used for a garage, cellar and storage area. Besides the study, the first floor also accommodates two bedrooms, an additional bathroom and two terraces: Tarragona town center, the sea and the neo-Gothic Ermita de la Salut (chapel of health) can be admired from one of these.

 

Casa d'en Jaume - Guillem Carrera © Adrià Goula, courtesy Guillem Carrera

The choice to adapt the building to the land's form has yielded striking results. In addition, given the limited building space on the lot, the architect played with the positioning of openings and skylights so as to expand the perceived spaciousness of the interiors. Three triangular windows create volumes protruding from the house's outline, becoming cozy welcoming spaces hovering above the garden below.

To underscore the references to local traditions, exposed concrete elements have been chosen: these come to the surface from the foundations, like roots appearing from beneath the ground to begin creating the home. Above these first levels is white lime mortar: with a primitive air free of human intervention, it symbolizes a division, a step leading to a higher more spiritual plane.

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Casa PR

Casa PR- Guillem Carrera © José Hevia, courtesy Guillem Carrera

Vallpineda was one of the first residential areas to appear in Sitges, near Barcelona, and it is here that Casa PR can be found. In this case too, the architect adapted the building's design to the contours of the land, exploiting the views to full effect and bringing natural light into the interiors. The home in fact stands on a slope, at a height where it is possible to enjoy the panorama of the coastal mountain chain, the town center and the sea. The view of the coast can be appreciated from all three floors of the home, each of which accommodates various functional areas: the garage, a study, the night zone and the day zone.

The floor housing the garage ‒ and including a car parking space, storage rooms, a study and a bathroom ‒ is at road level, which means direct vehicle access to the property is provided. The main entrance is on the next storey, where a spacious hall leads to the night zone: a bedroom suite with bathroom and balcony, three further bedrooms and a second bathroom are found here. Instead, a metal staircase gives access to the day zone, offering a kitchen, a larder, a third bathroom, the living-dining area and utilities spaces. Located on the lowest of the three levels of the home is an open-space area connected directly with the patio, the swimming pool, the barbecue zone and the garden.

 

Casa PR- Guillem Carrera © José Hevia, courtesy Guillem Carrera

Energy efficiency plays a prominent role in the design, and calls in passive solar architecture solutions and a rainwater collection system, used to water the garden. Doors and windows are positioned so as to make the most of the indoor spaces, and patios of various sizes are present. Ventilation is provided by a climate control system based on air-source technology.

Carrera has also opted to pick up on the Mediterranean vegetation through the use of wood and white finishes, endowing volumes and spaces with a soft feel and interacting with the site context, which is respected and incorporated. Conceived in warm neutral tones, the interiors are simple, comfortable and practical, and detailed intentionally to create welcoming friendly settings connected with the surrounding world. This connection is emphasized by the stone flooring that stretches through the home from the outside in, and vice-versa.
 

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Credits

CASA D'EN JAUME
Location: Tarragona, Spain
Client: Private
Building Area: 202 m2
Architect: Guillem Carrera

Consultants
Building Engineer: Albert Pons
Structures: Jordi Masdeu
Energy and Systems: Zero Consulting (Ecotec Enginyers)
Topography: Altiplà Serveis Topogràfics
Geotechnics: Geotec

Suppliers: Neolith, Schüco, Deltalight, Jung

Photography by Adrià Goula, courtesy of Guillem Carrera

 

CASA PR
Location: Sitges, Barcelona, Spain
Client: Private
Building Area: 371 m2
Architect: Guillem Carrera

Consultants
Building Engineer: Albert Pons
Structures: Estudi Cuyas 38 SL
Energy and Systems: Zero Consulting (Ecotec Enginyers)
Topography: CARTSIG
Geotechnics: Centro Catalan de Geotecnia

Suppliers: Silestone, Schüco, Deltalight, Flos, Jung, Trespa

Photography by José Hevia, courtesy of Guillem Carrera

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