In Spain, a Brick Home Built in Place of an Old Tennis Court Is All Aces

The indoor/outdoor plan by architect Sanchis Olivares features pockets of greenery that pop against its crisp clay bricks.

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Project Details:

Location: La Eliana, Valencia, Spain

Year Built: 2022

Architect: Sanchis Olivares

Builder: ATG Desarrollos

Footprint: 2,130 square feet

From the Architect: "Located in La Eliana, a decades-old garden city in the suburbs of Valencia, an old tennis court became the site for a new home. It offered us a flat terrain, with surrounding vegetation as a backdrop, a large tree, and an old underground warehouse that became a swimming pool.

"The lack of collective life in the streets of this urban model leads us to a typology that looks inward, protecting and enclosing the exterior space to enhance the owner’s relationship with it.

"The site’s significant length led us to organize the program in a spine, beginning with the northern access area and extending to the terrace at the plot’s southern end. On the home’s east façade, there are openings, gaps, and a courtyard that allow morning light to enter the rooms, while on the western side there is a flat, opaque façade that seeks shelter from the sun under the surrounding vegetation.

"In a reference to the surrounding residential architecture, the house is built with bricks made from white clay. The size of each piece allowed us to approximate the volumetric forcefulness that defines the exterior image of the project at the human scale. This forcefulness culminates in the vertical element that shapes the paellero, which is an outdoor barbecue traditionally used for making paella and a key element in Valencian social life. Located on the southern terrace, the paellero is contrasted by a light overhanging pergola built from pine slats that create a shaded outdoor space. This pergola—together with the thickness of the enclosures, the cross ventilation—and the house’s response to the different solar orientations, forms a system of passive measures that improve the home’s climatic performance."


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