22 May 2017
Subtracted from pure matter, polished to the point of obtaining an object filled with grace and geometric gravity, Fran Silvestre’s Casa entre la pinada at Paterna, in the province of Valencia, reconfigures the parts of an existing structure that has undergone alterations several times to meet the needs of the family that has always lived in it. In harmony with the surrounding environment, the new configuration constructs a relationship between interior and exterior whose balance evokes the traditional architecture of the Mediterranean region. The space contained within the volume that houses the various domestic functions on the ground floor projects outward, where the areas used for leisure activities, like the swimming pool, the barbecue area and the Jacuzzi are located, communicating with the central core of the house through the routes of circulation and the homogeneous use of materials. With the exception of a few pieces of furniture, made with wood from the same tree as grows around the building, the white of the marble, the facings and the plastering pervades the volumes obsessively, creating a sense of dilated space, made even more intense by an unpredictable rhythm of different planes and heights. The displacement of the block that contains the upper level, separated from the ground floor by a line of shadow cut into the material, heightens instead the sculptural character of the house: the projection contains a terrace that overhangs the main entrance and a large expanse of glass that acts as a filter between the external area and the rooms located on that floor. While the large openings hollow out the walls, making the permeability with the surroundings even stronger, the residual spaces, i.e. the zones of communication and separation between one block and the next, become private areas of rest or contemplation and are treated with the same essentiality of material that characterizes the interior. In this way, the building’s designer has been able to impart a domestic quality to the whole of the constructed area: each zone becomes usable and welcoming and there is never the sense of a pursuit of elegance for its own sake. In fact the Casa entre la pinada, like Fran Silvestre’s other works, is part of a line of expressive research that aims at a beauty of the constructed object understood as the consequence of a logical and relevant process, devoid of any stylistic straining and always open to a dialogue with the surrounding landscape.