taller SAU elevates typical catalan farmhouse with concrete and timber 'vivet houses'

taller SAU elevates typical catalan farmhouse with concrete and timber 'vivet houses'

a modern masia in the pyrenees foothills


Taller SAU takes to Vidrà, a Catalan village nestled in the Pyrenees foothills, to design its Vivet Houses. The architecture is created to integrate contemporary design and pared-back materials, with the spirit of its rural location. Taking shape as a pair of houses, the project presents a modern interpretation of the traditional farmhouse, or masia, which can be found throughout the region. The design team notes that the site, often bathed in sunshine, enjoys sweeping views across both the mountainous landscape and the picturesque village with its stone church and bell tower.

taller sau vivet housesimages © Andrés Flajszer @andresflajszer



With its Vivet Houses, the architects at Taller SAU work together with the Vivet de Vidrà woodwork company, which owns the site. ‘The main objectives of the project are, on one hand, to achieve low environmental impact and high energy efficiency,’ explains the team: ‘on the other, to provide a high quality project at a competitive cost and, finally, to propose an architecture fully integrated into the landscape.’

taller sau vivet houses



passive design by taller sau


Taller SAU’s Vivet Houses saw the use of bare, neutral materials that celebrate thoughtful design while ensuring a reduced environmental impact during construction. Each structure thus takes shape atop a large concrete plinth to negotiate the sloping plot. The entire project is built with a plywood structure, interior finishes of three-layer fir panels, wooden fiber insulation, and a ventilated façade of a wood-cement composite panel.


To integrate strategies of passive cooling, the number of openings are reduced to only those that are essential, and are located strategically in order to achieve good solar radiation. The team continues: ‘In this way, the houses behave extremely well since there are almost no heat channel breakage, reducing to a minimum the energy consumption throughout their useful life.’

taller sau vivet houses



vivet houses: a contemporary abstraction of the rural site


The design team further contributes to the project’s efficiency by employing a standardized, modular logic. The interior layout is informed by the modular panels of the structure, a strategy which significantly cuts both material waste and costs. The floor plan shows an ultra-efficient organization, covering as little space as possible while maintaining high-quality spaces.


Lastly, the material palette and architectural language directly responds to the surrounding landscape. While the timber, tiles, and composite façade panels evoke the countryside and its appearance, the volume itself stands as a modern abstraction of the large, nineteenth-century farmhouses of Vidrà.

taller sau vivet houseswood-cement composite panels form the facade

taller SAU elevates typical catalan farmhouse with concrete and timber 'vivet houses'hybridizing the old and the new, the architecture harmonizes with its site


interiors gaze out toward the rural village and mountains beyond

taller sau vivet housesthe spaces express a pared-back design with exposed plywood


interiors are organized with an ultra-efficient, modular logic

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