Up until recently, Jordi Salvia’s hometown in rural Catalonia used rammed earth bricks as an ancient and effective method to keep barns and houses cool and affordable.
source.image: Kirsten Dirksen
Despite working in Barcelona, Salvia decided to turn a dilapidated barnhouse built by his grandfather in their village outside Lleida into a modern, efficient house for his family — at a fraction of the cost of renovations relying on modern materials (with weaker climatic performance).
Inserted into a narrow rectangular plot with no possible openings to the sides, the renovation removed floors and inserted lofty voids to create mezzanines designed to allow natural light into the house’s several courtyard-like spaces.
The house includes a double-height living room with a custom cast-iron fireplace for the winter and access to a terrace, a vaulted living area for hosting big gatherings for family and friends, and an indoor courtyard on the first floor that stays cool in summertime and warm in winter.