This elegant little stone house overlooking the Spanish Mediterranean coast is much more than what meets the eye. To get around the strict building size regulations, Enproyecto Arquitectura designed the Refugio en La Vall de Laguar as an agriculture building with small living spaces both above and below ground . Walls become storage, the benches on the patio are light shafts for the downstairs bedrooms and along with the subterranean rooms an extensive dry stacked stone wall keeps the home cool on a hot summer afternoon.
Located on the outskirts of a small agricultural village, the house is surrounded by cherry fields and is graced by a sweeping view of the coast. Zoning only allows for a 25 square meter building (usually for tool storage) and a 50 square meter underground cistern, so most of the house is actually subterranean. A studio, bath, and bedroom make up the lower living space and are lit by two clever skylights that double as benches on the adjacent patio/roof. The main floor is a simple open space with a kitchen at one end and a living room which opens to the views at the other. Tucked under the shed roof is a small bedroom loft.
While simple in design the home gets high marks for its refined finishes. The interior is cleanly constructed with black painted steel, wood floors and ceilings and white wall panels. A thick wall is actually made up of storage units where the inset window becomes a small alcove. The exterior is made from dry stacked locally sourced stone which integrates the home into the sparse landscape, full of old stone walls. The thick walls allow windows to be smartly inset to the interior with steel frames wrapped by the stone, cutting off the hot daytime sun. The stone also absorbs daytime heat and re-emits it at night, regulating the interior temperature through the year.