Passively-cooled Spanish house promotes semi-outdoor living

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Work on the MMMMMS House began back in 2011 and was finally completed in 2014 (Photo: Anna & Eugeni Bach)

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It takes a certain kind of house and climate to make semi-outdoor living appeal on a regular basis (as my rusting garden furniture attests). Australia's Cut Paw Paw House manages it, and so does Spain's similar MMMMMS House: a passively-cooled home extended with a skeletal structure that serves to encourage its owners to spend more time outside.

Architects Anna & Eugeni Bach began work on the awkwardly-named MMMMMS House back in 2011, and it was finally completed in 2014. From the photos at least, it looks like it was worth the wait, and the two-story home takes its place very well within the rural Catalonian landscape.

According to the architects, the interior of the home is laid out much like a warehouse, with the primary volume separated into smaller box-like rooms which lead into each other with sliding doors – which makes sense given its comparative length.

MMMMMS House was designed with energy-efficiency in mind, and a series of carefully-placed skylights and windows were installed to promote natural ventilation. This appears to have done the trick, as Anna & Eugeni Bach report no need for any air conditioning.

A high-performance wood burner is available for winter, and a roof-based solar array heats domestic hot water. In addition, a rainwater collection system provides water for irrigation and toilet flushing. Curiously though, there are no solar panels for electricity production, which is arguably a missed opportunity given the abundance of sunshine in that part of the world.

Though left uncovered in the photos, the architects told us that they envision the skeletal framework being covered with a combination of wooden shades and vegetation, allowing respite from the Spanish sun. As sliding doors connect the area directly to the kitchen, this should make it into an appealing semi-outdoor for the owners at mealtimes.

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