• LOCATION Sabadell
  • > CLIENT Private
  • YEAR 2017
  • STATUS Built
  • CATEGORY Architecture
  • SCALE City
  • TEAM OUA Group

“It is important to consider the possibility that buildings can be adapted to the changing needs of their users”

Designing the future home of a very good friend is an added challenge for any architect. At OUA, we like challenges, and this project is an example of how we turn them into success stories. With light and versatility as its objectives and understanding and trust as its foundations, Oriol Serrat (Director of the Architecture Department) completes a detached house that adapts to the changing needs of a family.

What is the seed of the project?
The project is designed for a friend, his partner (who is also a friend) and their three children (two boys aged five and eight, and a one-year-old girl). From the beginning, we have kept in mind that their needs will change as the years go by and the children grow up, so the project is designed in a way that it can be adapted to the new needs. We held many meetings, we had lunches and dinners with the whole family in order to establish their priorities, and we exchanged many emails with lists of concerns, proposals, ideas and suggestions until we were able to conceptualise a tailor-made house.

What details allow the house to be flexible?
The children’s room is initially designed as a large space of 50 m2. But it is approached in a way that when the children grow up and need their own space, it can be divided into two or three rooms. At the back of the plot, there is a space so that in the future, if necessary, it will also be possible to build a studio, a playroom or even a small room where teenage children can have their own private space.

Apart from adaptability, what other requirements helped to shape the proposal
Brightness was an essential element for the family. We managed to maximise it with the general use of white, large windows and the incorporation of a central courtyard finished with shiny tiles that visually connects all the spaces in the house, and it coats them with natural light.

The windows create a very interesting play of perspectives…
Yes, and they facilitate a cross-ventilation system that favours the sustainability of the project in terms of energy. In addition, their composition allows the different spaces to be connected and, at the same time, to be divided acoustically and visually.

How has the environment influenced the definition of the project?
The building has been aligned with the neighbouring houses. We have opted for a continuous finish and a composition of windows to match most buildings in the area.

A rising value…
The importance of anticipating the possibility of buildings being able to adapt to the changing needs of their users, whether in the professional sphere due to changes in the family structure, or any other change in the way of living, such as those experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Especially if it is a family with young children.