in catalonia, lópez rivera arquitectos presents two houses clad in cork

in catalonia, lópez rivera arquitectos presents two houses clad in cork

lópez-rivera arquitectos crafts the ‘two cork houses,’ among the forested, coastal region of palafrugell, catalonia. compact and vertical, the houses rise above the rugged terrain on which the architects intervene as little as possible, preserving the natural topography of the landscape. together with the conservation of the site’s existing vegetation, the team further enhances its bucolic character with a variety of new mediterranean plantings. in this way the environment is preserved and the impression given of a place that remains unchanged after the intervention of the homes.

lopez rivera two cork houses
all images by josé hevia



lópez rivera arquitectos organized the interiors as a collection of intimate spaces which link to one another without corridors. each room within the interconnected sequence is defined by its relationship to the outside, be it the distant view of the sea, the framed tops of the pines, or the physical access to the terrain. the structure is comprised of radiata pine timber, sourced from the nearby basque country, which is clad in two layers cork. this finish allows for vapor dispersion through the facade. the first layer of cork is mechanically anchored to the wood while the second is attached with lime mortar.

lopez rivera two cork houses



the interiors of the houses are heated through a system of underfloor heating installed beneath a flooring of ceramic tiles. this system serves to increase the buildings’ thermal mass. during the summer months, the adjustable casement wood windows provide constant ventilation while the shade given by the surrounding pines protects the windows from the direct rays of the sun. because of these passive strategies, both houses have obtained a class a energy rating.

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project info:


project title: two cork houses

architect: lópez rivera arquitectos

location: palafrugell, girona, spain

design team: emiliano lópez, mónica rivera

program: residential

photography: josé hevia

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