Bullas, Spain

Project Size: 4,582 square feet

Site Size: 8 acres

Program: Three sisters with their own families requested separate dwellings to be placed in close proximity to each other in southeast Spain. They wanted the architecture to blend in with the surrounding vineyards and olive groves and be constructed of local, natural materials. Although the region is prone to hot summers and cold winters, the clients asked for passive heating and cooling strategies where possible.

Solution: Blancafort-Reus Arquitectura designed a pinwheel plan with freestanding structures arranged around a communal courtyard. The three two-story units, constructed of masonry walls with concrete columns and slabs, are clad in pressure-treated local pine planks that give the entire complex a raw, unvarnished look.

The three houses are practically identical, with each containing a living, kitchen, and dining area on the main level and a master suite above. Yet each diverges from the other by virtue of extra bedrooms, office space, or extended living areas. To get from one to another, residents use outdoor circulation spaces delineated by wood fences.

The architects employed a number of sustainable design strategies: solar panels, rainwater collection for irrigation of trees and vegetable gardens, concrete floors, and windows with insulated shutters. Construction of the entire complex cost $444,000.


Blancafort-Reus Arquitectura
Escorial, 50, casa 6, 08024, Barcelona. Spain
Antonio Torrecillas, 1, 3' B, 30003, Murcia. Spain
Phone: + 34 968 90 91 82
+ 34 607 61 21 57

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Jaume Blancafort (Architect)
Patricia Reus (Architect)
Candy Garc'a (Interior Designer)
Octavio Art's (Technical Architect) - Construction manager
Gin's Sabater (Architect) - Structural engineering Collaborators: Pepo Devesa, Arturo Garc'a Ag'era, Tom's Larios, Jose Mar'a
Mateo, Antonio J. Mart'nez Espinosa, Mario M'ndez.

General contractor:
Construcciones Antonio Mart'nez

David Frutos

CAD system, project management, or other software used:
CAD system: DraftSight
Office programs: OpenOffice



Structural system:
Masonry walls and concrete pillars and slabs.

Exterior cladding:
1.57 inches (4 cm) Pinus Radiata wood
(protection 3.2 T and PEFC certification)

11.42 inches (29cm) Termoarcilla block walls (ceramic material with thermal insulation properties)

exterior wood:
1.57 inches (4 cm) Pinus Radiata wood (protection 3.2 T and PEFC certification).
Trademark: Ecotraviesas - Maderas Aguirre

Fa'ade (from interior to exterior):
0.7874 inches (2cm) plaster
11.42 inches (29cm) Termoarcilla brick walls [thermal insulation]
0.7874 inches (2cm) cement plaster
1.1811 inches (3 cm) extruded polystyrene [thermal insulation]
0.7874 inches (2cm) ventilated air
1.57 inches (4 cm) pinus radiata wood (protection 3 2 T and PEFC certification)

Built-up roofing:
3.15 inches (8cm) Gravel [when not accessible] or
1.57 inches (4 cm) Pinus Radiata wood [when accessible]

3.937 inches (10 cm) extruded polystyrene [thermal insulation]

Metal frame: Aluminium with thermal break

Double low-emission thermal glass with sealed chamber 4+4K/6/4+4

Entrances: Pinus Radiata wood

Interior finishes:
Acoustical ceilings:
Unidirectional forged with curved ceramic + white paint

Wall coverings: Plaster

Special surfacing:
White macael marble class 1 (kitchen countertop)

Floor and wall tile (cite where used):
Tiles: Mosaicos Del Sur (kitchen) Concrete floor polishing and sealing (ground floor) Floating park (first floor)

Separative sewer system (stormwater and sewage)
System greywater
WC with dual flush
Faucet aeration system (flow reduction)
Recovering rainwater for irrigation
Automatic drip
DHW heating with solar thermal

Natural cross ventilation system.
Sun protection elements.

• Low emission glass and exterior jalousies minimize heat loss in winter and solar radiation in summer
• Cross ventilation and stratification systems allow for fast heat dissipation
• Energy expenditure is minimized by biomass heating and highly insulated materials on the exterior and interior
• a rainwater collection system irrigates the fruit trees and the orchard on the property