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Unique X House offers views to die for


January 17, 2013

X House from Cadaval & Solà-Morales is a unique building, shaped so as to make the most of the incredible landscape surrounding its plot

X House from Cadaval & Solà-Morales is a unique building, shaped so as to make the most of the incredible landscape surrounding its plot

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Different people have different sets of desires for the houses they live in. For some it's all about location, being close to the things that matter to them. For others it's the building itself, whether it be a period property or a modern build with minimalist features. For others still, it's all about the views ... and it's this last group of people who will likely be blown away by the X House from Cadaval & Solà-Morales.

X House is located in the hills of Cabrils, on the outskirts of Barcelona. It covers 300 square meters (3,200 square feet), with 6-meter (20-foot)-high walls made of high-density concrete that were applied at high pressure to a single-sided formwork.

Its most striking feature is its shape, which closely resembles the letter X. While it's not the only building to have had that letter used as inspiration for its design, its particular layout is likely unique. Furthermore, X House suggests that perhaps the 24th letter of the alphabet has been unfairly overlooked to this point.

The X shape isn't just for show, instead being chosen as the basis for the building in order to respect and augment the landscape it's pitched in. The benefits of the X shape are numerous – it means the house fits comfortably into the plot without disturbing pre-existing pine trees; it means the front of the house offers the maximum viewing surface, and views in two directions; and, it means the owners can avoid prying eyes from the neighbors while still receiving plenty of light both from the large windowed wall and the various recesses on each side of the property.

X House doesn't fit in particularly well with the surrounding properties – its bold shape and materials clearly at odds with the more traditional neighboring houses – however, it does fit in with the landscape thanks to its clever positioning on the side of a hill, with the front edges hanging precariously over the lip of the plot. The views on offer from the front facade take in the valley, the sea and the mountains all at once.

The building comprises two stories made up of two intersecting rectangles, plus a roof terrace above and swimming pool below. You enter the house via the upper floor, which is adjacent to the road running up the hill and behind the property. There is also a parking garage for two cars, with a bedroom, bathroom, and study completing the rooms on that floor. Downstairs there's a double-height living room, as well as a single-height kitchen-diner (completed by a marble dining table) that benefit from the viewing vista. The rear of the property offers extra rooms that offer privacy as a counter to the open-plan living space offered by the rest of the house.

While X House offers little in the way of innovative building methods or eco-friendly features, the shape is something of a revelation. It offers a variety of benefits from more traditional shapes as well as being both immediately recognizable and striking.

Source: Cadaval & Solà-Morales via Dezeen

About the Author
Dave Parrack Dave is a technology journalist with a ravenous appetite for gadgets, gizmos, and gubbins. He's based in the U.K., and from his center of operations writes about all facets of modern and future technology. He has learned more in his five years writing for the Web than he did in 11 years at school, and with none of the boring subjects thrown in to the mix. All articles by Dave Parrack

Splendid house, I've spent a week there the last summer. All finished in waterproof microcement. _

Marcello Cividini

Hmmm. Very interesting, indeed. No argument, here. However, other than the uniqueness of the x-design, I guess I don't see how and/or why a more traditional nearly-square or -rectangular building, wherein more efficient use of space could be employed, would not have worked just as well... including even being made to fit-in with the landscape, and including even achieving the two-angled view. But, that said, I certainly don't begrudge the architect the creative statement. It is, I admit, quite nice.

I'll tell you where the design is potentially a more natural fit, though, and that's if employed in the use intermodal shipping containers as housing. At least THEN there's a definsible reason for the x-design's use! All it would take is some properly-placed i-beams to support the ceiling/roof of one, and the floor of the other, once they're both properly "notched" to accommodate their fitting together in the "x" design. But, alas, now I'm just dreaming.

Nice article. Thanks!

Gregg L. DesElms Napa, California USA gregg at greggdeselms dot com

Gregg DesElms

Microsoft should rent it for promoting their third model of the XBox game console.

Have a launch event named "XBox at the XHouse".

Gregg Eshelman

Those windows in the acute apex of the "X" look like a real bother to clean. No thanks.

Andrew Poth

That house looks simply amazing. I really love it. I am a big fan of architecture and one day I would like to live in a house like this. You can find so many fascinating buildings around the world and what intrigues me the most is that it’s not only museums, business centers or theaters and galleries, but normal houses which normal people live in. For example these captivating pieces of architecture in Toronto - I would love to live in one of them, maybe one day I'll build a unique house of my own and it'll end up on internet.

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