Villa SV by Jofre Roca Arquitectes

Located on the hillside of Tibidabo, in Barcelona, Spain, this two-story brick residence has been designed in 2018 by Jofre Roca Arquitectes.

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In an unbeatable urban environment, on the hillside of Tibidabo, with incomparable views over all Barcelona, we find SV Villa. This house enjoys the advantages of the city with the privileges of a country house. A project in which traditional production methods have been used (tile roofing, the use of stone, manual bricks, selected and treated solid wood beams, etc.). Likewise, energy-passive solutions were used, taking advantage of local resources. As well, materials to generate an authentic, pleasant and natural space.


The SV Villa distributes its more than 1,000 square meters on three levels. On the ground floor, there are the common areas, living room, kitchen and dining room. On the basement floor is the service area with independent access from the ground floor. As well the guest bedroom, a multipurpose room, bathrooms with access to the garden and the garage. On the upper floor are the children’s bedrooms sharing bathrooms, a library in the larger modules and a suite at the opposite end.

The unity of the brick and its dimensions determine the size of the spaces and the modules of the metal frames that rest on top of the brick walls. This metallic grid modulates the project in an elastic way according to the needs and desired limits. It is a flexible systematization that gives an implicit order to the entire project.

Connection with the environment

The spaces of the house are open to the outside. On the façade, the perpendicular walls and the planters cross the limits. The relationship between the interior and the external areas blurs the limits of the house. It is also reinforce the relationship with the flight of the great cantilever on the southern facade. The external elements take part in the internal order of the project.

Energy efficiency. Passive construction systems.

Passive energy solutions are used. The spaces are oriented and the cantilever on the southern façade provides a shade that regulates the entry of the sun’s rays in summer and allows direct thermal gain in winter. A continuous skylight on the top floor of the house supports the natural ventilation system, which is practicable and in summer uses thermal circulation. Thus the whole house has a good natural ventilation system. Also, it allows natural lighting throughout the entire floor. This skylight is oriented so it does not receive the direct incidence of solar radiation. The house enclosures provide thermal insulation and the installed air conditioning equipment is efficient.

Attention to details. Design and choice of materials

The House SV project is unique. All the elements have been designed with the utmost attention to detail at all scales. From the construction system to the furniture. Each part of the project has been considered to establish order and coherence in the whole. Also, taking into account the needs of the owners.

The bricks handmade in a local factory were produced by master craftsmen and designed by Jofre Roca arquitectes. The measurements of the bricks that determined the dimensions of the spaces were decided, while allowing specific wall solutions. For which special molds were built for the project. A special sludge mix provided the corresponding flexibility and hardness. Following an artisanal process, they were baked by burning crushed olive stones for ten days and depending on their exposure to the flames. Each unit acquired a more or less reddish hue, achieving the whole the desired texture. Although this procedure was manual, its cost was lower than if you would have buy a special-sized bricks of a manufactured, with industrial processes.

The oak wood beams were chosen and sawed by a local sawmill and allowed to dry in the sun for three months to stabilize their movements. Once they were manipulated, specific fittings were made to make them flush with the metal profiles. These elements are part of the structural and aesthetic system, interesting textures and finishes in both interior and exterior spaces.

Photography by Adrià Goula

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- by Matt Watts