cadaval & sola morales arquitectos: X house in barcelona cadaval & sola morales arquitectos: X house in barcelona
jan 17, 2013

cadaval & sola morales arquitectos: X house in barcelona

‘X house’ by cadaval & sola-morales arquitectos, barcelona, spainimage © sara pereznietoall images courtesy of cadaval & sola-morales arquitectos



a methodological process responding to several site constraints led the ‘X house’ to its powerful shape and name. designed by spanish practice cadaval & sola-morales arquitectos, the dwelling first stemmed from the large pine tree at the top of the property, located right in the middle making an entrance into the structure quite difficult. located on the top of a steep valley in cabrils, the owners also wanted views of the ocean and mountains that were inconveniently situated on opposite sides, and still wanted to maintain some sort of privacy from the neighboring homes.the ‘X’ therefore came about as a solution to all the above problems, straddling and preserving the tree while creating an angled access into the garage; the front-facing facades made up of large windows extend views in almost all directions while the concrete shell maintains solidity onthe lateral facets of the construction for added privacy. recessed into the site, but not so much as to require excessive excavation, the house itselfis like a plinth cantilevering into the air, maintaining an almost invisible presence from the street and creating a rooftop look-out point. the program is organized over two floors, the top of which contains the garage, a studio, bathroom and master bedroom and is conceived as theowners’ private area. the lower contains the social functions in a double height light-flooded space, the kitchen and living room overlap and communicated, anchored around a central eight-meter long table. there is also a clear distinction between the the projecting side of the dwellingwhich is very obviously aimed at providing the best views in all directions; by contrast the embedded half houses the service areas and other rooms.a pool, located several meters downhill, is hidden amongst the vegetation of the site and surrounded by lush green.



view from below the siteimage © sara pereznieto



perched up in the top of a valley extending views out over barcelonaimage © sara pereznieto



bird’s eye viewimage © sara pereznieto



(left) image © iwaan ban(right) image © santiago garces



front elevationimage © sara pereznieto



image © santiago garces



entrance onto rooftop lookout pointimage © iwan baan



image © iwan baan



driveway slope into garageimage © santiago garces



view over the valleyimage © iwan baan



front balcony provides a great observation areaimages © iwan baan



kitchen and living areaimage © sara pereznieto



living roomimage © iwan baan



(left) image © iwan baan(right) image © sara pereznieto



image © iwan baan



(left) living room before furnishing(right) loft areaimages © santiago garces



kitchenimage © iwan baan



split in circulation to the other wing of the houseimage © sara pereznieto



studyimage © iwan baan



view of the second floorimage © iwan baan



bedroomimage © iwan baan



images © santiago garces



night viewimage © iwan baan



image © sara pereznieto





site plan



site plan



floor plan / level 0



floor plan / level -1















concept diagram






illuminated model



project info:



project: eduardo cadaval & clara solà-morales.collaborators: bruno pereira, pamela diaz de leon, daniela tramontozzi, manuel tojalbuilding engineering: joaquin pelaezstructural engineering: carles company: topcret constructions.location: cabrils, barcelona, spainarea: 300 m2date: project: 2009. construction 2012

  • Amazing work from cadaval & sola-morales arquitectos!!!! Congratulations!!!!!

    minimal//mobile says:
  • Awesome idea and execution! Clean and minimal, but yet intriguing.

    siMple says:
  • the word vertiginous comes to mind

    love the art piece on the wall

    dbkii says:
  • fantastic architecture, and brilliant spaces. but not convinced as a home. Although I suppose this would be one of several owned..

    pb says:
  • sometimes architecture and sculpture merge
    thank you

    Paedra says:
  • Interesting design, very well presented d’-)

    Jetwax says:
  • this looks amazing, such simplicity with a punch! congratulations.

    hoseun says:
  • nice target!

    PUDDELLA says:
  • What a design win! Wow!

    LincolnHo says:
  • Sorry for being the party pooper, but who needs something this unnecessarily big?
    Especially in the Spain of crisis.
    The design, concept and execution is all good and proportions and fancy furniture and stuff is looking good but it cant fill up the vaccuum where it should be meaning.

    Dr.H says:
  • Bond, James Bond needs a house this big. Especially now that his ancestral home is in ruins.

    Gordon says:
  • I would not describe the architectural execution as an innovation, however the engineering, site and material selection seems challenging. Visually it seems devoid of character or realistic purpose.

    Jay Vlez-Lombardia says:
  • So Dr.H is basically sayin that if a country is in crisis and some hard working people still manage to buy themselves a good house with great design they are basically not allowed? Sorry I dont support that, you must remember this is a house, a private client, wich means the design needs only to have meaning for the ones who will actually live there. This i not a public project where you should then take in consideration the country’s situation and the people’s perspective in matter to make it have an overall meaning.
    Anyway, I like this design, wasnt fan of the “X” concept but they really made it work fantastic.

    neutral says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news