At the border between a village and a forest in Catalonia, Arnau Estudi d’Arquitectura has built a private residence on a small hill. Embedded into the contours of the land and boasting panoramic views of lush greenery, the ‘forest stone’ house intends to establish a relationship with the natural surroundings.
Rising three storeys, the building stands as a striking landmark and symbolic gatehouse to the forest. The architect has orientated the scheme to maximize the location. For example, the plan turns its back on the neighbors at the northern edge while opening up to the nature at the south. On this elevation, the living space extends outwards to a terrace, allowing residents to enjoy the natural environment.
From the main elevation, residents enter the house under a large cantilevered volume. After taking the stairs, they arrive into a large open plan kitchen, dining and living area. Characterized by white finishes, exposed concrete elements and timber flooring, the space is bright and contemporary. Natural light floods the interiors thanks to a huge corner window, which also serves to root the house into its context.
From outside, the house is expressed predominately in a concrete skin, which gives the project its name, ‘forest stone’. Strips of vertical stained timber complement and contrast with the grey concrete, giving the volume depth and relating to the forest surroundings. As dusk falls, the warm yellow glow of the interiors also articulate the design and give life to the architecture.