2016 Residential Architect Design Awards
Custom House Less Than 3,000 Square Feet: Award
Casa IV’s little bit of magic is the way it breaks down the hierarchy and division of inside and outside spaces with elements no more transparent than plaster and brick. Designed by Mesura, the house comprises a series of four roof sections: long, domestic-scaled vaults right out of Le Corbusier’s Maisons Jaoul in suburban Paris. The curved clerestory windows at the ends of each vault pull in natural light despite the rich opacity of the walls, which are made from long, flat custom brick.
Through floor-to-ceiling glass walls, the house, located in Elche, Spain, looks out onto a landscaped pool and a series of courtyards, bathing each room in its sunny Mediterranean climate from above and beyond. The textured brick—which is spaced and bonded in some areas to create screen-like gaps that glow from within at night—contrasts with the smooth white vaulted ceilings and roof, and the entire house appears far more ancient than its pedigree suggests. “It’s like an adaptation of the Villa de Madame Manorama Sarabhai by Le Corbusier with the vaulted interiors,” juror Lisa Iwamoto said, “but it is so much lighter in its materials. If the Sarabhai house is about creating shade, this is about creating light. I think it’s just stunning.”