GilBartolomé Architects were commissioned to build on an intimidating 42º angle cliff in Granada, Spain on the Mediterranean. What they came up with is “House on the Cliff” an impressive marriage between the natural and artificial.
One of the most interesting results of this project was that the home requires no heating or cooling. The entire home is built right in to the mountainside and so it benefits from the constant temperature of 19.5ºC in the ground.
Between the interior and the retaining walls there is a 40cms air cavity that is used to regulate the amount of air that goes into the house, how much goes into the pre-cooling or pre-heating of the HVAC system, and how much has to be ventilated in order to control the humidity levels. Additionally the roof is a double curved concrete shell, each shell 7cms of concrete, that has 40cms of insulation.
As a result of these two features, the house does not use any form of heating or cooling during the year.
The House on the Cliff was constructed in 2015 during Spain’s financial crisis and high unemployment levels. The decision was made to use labour-intensive techniques and local workers to help boost the economy.
‘The form of the house and the metallic roof produces a calculated aesthetic ambiguity between the natural and the artificial, between the skin of a dragon set in the ground, when seen from below, and the waves of the sea, when seen from above.’ – Pablo Gil and Jaime Bartolomé, Gilbartolomé Architects