Zoka Zola Architecture practice shares with us their design for the Rose House located in Girona, Spain. For more images as well as their project description continue after the jump:
From the Architects:
The house resembles a flower shape, with the living spaces grouped around a central circular courtyard in smaller and larger circles that also continue to enclose the rest of the site as defined garden spaces. This gives each room a two-folded orientation — to the central courtyard and to the surrounding gardens.
Walls growing from the ground wrap around and enclose these circular spaces. Each space is centered in itself and related in adjacency and connection to the adjoining spaces. The ceiling rests on the walls like a large shallow bowl holding the sky.
All openings, windows and doors are meant to slide completely out of view, leaving only the cast shape of the walls. The spaces open to each other and the world around. To achieve this, the solid bent laminated doors slide into the adjacent walls or pivot. The windows slide down into the parapet wall, the glazing wall of the courtyard slides completely into the adjacent living room wall.
During the warm months the life in the house will be in or around its open-air central courtyard. All surrounding spaces can spill their life into the center. During the hottest days the slightly indented courtyard can be closed and filled with water.
A shallow wading pool that cools the inhabitants and the house creates a pleasant microclimate in the house. At all other times, apart from the hottest days, the courtyard will most likely be used as an outdoor living space. The ventilation of the courtyard is achieved though three passages to the gardens and through the windows and skylights of the house.
There are several gardens that are defined with walls related to the house. The garden spaces are spaces between the house and the rest of the world. The doorways in the garden walls connect all gardens with each other and to the spaces outside the site.
The house is made of concrete. The ingredients of the concrete are selected for their performance and mineral properties. Muscovite, zeolites and other selected pozzolan minerals are used as cement, dolomite is used as gravel, quartz is used as sand, and structured water is added.
Concrete walls are poured with four concrete templates of 8 m, 4 m, 2 m and 1 m radius. The roof is poured with 128 m diameter spherical formwork.
The walls are composed of two concrete layers with an insulation layer in between. The floor is a continuous concrete slab with hydronic heating tubing cast in it. Both roof and floor are insulated slabs.
The house has 336 m2 (3617 sq. ft.) of interior spaces not including the garage. The house can be scaled up or down from 250 m2 – 400 m2, because the precise size of the spaces is not vital for the experience of the house.
Water is energized with pioneering water energy revitalizing techniques. Energy for heating and cooling and electricity is generated with use of the latest affordable renewable energy generation technology. Natural cooling and ventilation is provided through natural cross ventilation of all spaces. The drain in the courtyard collects the water from the footprint of the house (383 m2) in an underground cistern to irrigate the gardens.