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Barcelona House with Imposing Exterior and Sweet Central Courtyard

C stands for many things – cool, contemporary, creative, and in the case of House C designed by Spanish architects RTA Office, it is all these things and more, rolled into one memorable, modernist home. This sleek stone house features this seemingly impenetrable exterior wall which wraps in a C shape around a private courtyard and pool – a secret hotspot at the heart of this home. Surrounding the central courtyard, glass walls provide a seamless transition between the idyllic outdoors and the edgy interiors.

From RTA Office: “Geometry, skin, cuts that let you discover the dermis. Space, three-dimensional continuity. There are no elevations, no plans, or sections. This is space within a solid object, a block of black basalt in which we make a number of penetrations as in a quarry, mine tunnels and corridors that communicate with the outside, with the light of the morning, of noon and the darkness of the night. An emotional design, the indivisible cross-sectional view of the object. Dark skin, pale dermis. Contrast. Cuts and cracks, reinforcing the change of scale, working for the presence. A unitary object that proposes its maximum dimension. The complexity of the site works in our favour: the closed outer perimeter, walled, stone; inside the glass folds open.”
Whether it’s with the extensive use of glass, or with the home’s sprawling, unfolding shape, the architecture engages it surroundings. This protruding upper volume launches you into the landscape with its massive picture window…
… And the sight is simply stunning, framing city and nature all in one eyeful.
While the solid exterior gives the home a cold, almost industrial aesthetic on first sight, there’s much more to it than meets the eye. Once you get past the facade, you’ll be surprised to find a luxurious pool and patio area surrounded by glass walls that blur the boundary between indoors and out.
Inside, the focus shifts from the sun-soaked garden and shimmering swimming pool, to the bold design of the house itself.
These dramatic interiors prove it’s all in the details. The architecture is accentuated by the interplay of shadow and light shining in through the expansive glass.
The architects call it, “a spectacle of natural light, reflections, transparencies, and an explosion of multiplying images. A kaleidoscopic space, beauty, image, observation. All at the same time thanks to the effects produced by the transparent crystals of different sizes and angles. Everything impacts on the building. Nature enters the interior through these cuts and segments the different rooms of the house.”
It’s a fine line between indoors and out.
Up the stairs…
A glass stair enclosure allows light and views to permeate the space.
By night, the interior light glows through the windows, illuminating and highlighting their irregular shape.
“At dusk, transparency overrides limits,” explain the architects. “The light of day is now projected from inside the house to the outdoors.”
But it’s not just the windows that come alive in the dark. Artful illumination also showcases the home’s interesting, unusual shape.
Beneath the deep cantilever of this upper volume, the sheltered outdoor living and lounging area almost glows by the light of interiors.
RTA Office


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