Spain’s Rías Baixas area is a picturesque part of the country. Now, in this idyllic region sits a highly energy-efficient home designed by local firm ARKKE. The architects incorporated several bioclimatic features into the design, taking advantage of the local climate and landscape to help reduce the building’s energy use.

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white and wood home with large windows

The Small Bioclimatic House is a compact, two-bedroom home that sits elevated on a steep hill side overlooking the Ría de Arousa, the largest estuary in Galicia. The area is known for its picturesque landscape dotted with quaint fishing villages, so the architects wanted to create an energy-efficient home that harmonizes with the surroundings and complements the existing vernacular.

Related: Brazilian timber home uses bioclimatic principles to reduce its environmental footprint

deck leading to glass wall of a home

dark sofa and open kitchen in home with glass walls

The home is just over 900 square feet and is surrounded by natural landscaping. According to the architects, the layout and size of the house was inspired by the limited building space as well as the stunning views. The firm explained, “The essential premise of the commission was to design a small, highly efficient and healthy house capable of making the most of a very narrow plot but with delicious views of the Arosa estuary.”

wood deck leading to yard with wood picket fence

stone pathway near wood and glass home

The architects created a simple, one-story design with two bedrooms, a living room, an open kitchen and a bathroom. The front wall is comprised of floor-to-ceiling windows that open up to a front deck; this helps the family to enjoy optimal natural light as well as unobstructed views year-round.

home exterior with wood and glass

wood and glass home

To create a strong thermal envelope for the home, the architects chose to build with CLT. The porch extends laterally, forming eaves that shade the interiors from direct solar radiation, again reducing the home’s energy use. Additionally, the entire envelope has been insulated with a unique exterior insulation system (SATE) to withstand both the region’s frigid winters and the searing summer months.


Via ArchDaily

Images via ARKKE