Up a gently winding stone path near the Yesa Reservoir high in the Pre-Pyrenees Mountains perches the serene retreat Casa Urania.  Designed to suit two distinctly different users, a Yogi and Archaeologist, the response required careful attention to both of their needs.  Most important to both was a clear, spiritual connection with the natural surroundings, who’s character is humble and respectful through form and materiality.

Like the Yogi in contemplation then, the home faces north to bear witness to the majestic Yesa Reservoir and distant blue Pyrenees mountain tops beyond.  Old growth trees and strategically placed vegetation in concert with existing natural features envelope the building, providing shelter from cold winter winds and visual privacy from the adjacent Yoga school.  The form of the building seeks harmony with these surroundings through a distinctive language of wood clad cone like roof structures that emerge from the mountain side to create a rolling rhythm that echoes the Pyrenees geography.

On the interior, the surroundings are ever present through floor to ceiling windows that dominate the northern face.  The arrangement of spaces finds harmony with the landscape through a simple solution that places opaque program near the mountainside, leaving program that can benefit from windows in the most ideal location.  Although mostly north facing, the interior is bathed in bands of filtered sunlight through clerestory windows placed in the spaces created by the varied topography of the roof.  Openings at the peaks of the cones too also allow for additional light and connection with the changing sky above.

The plan also includes two different working spaces for the Yogi and Archaeologist; a yoga room for practice and an office with sliding glass dividers for added auditory privacy.  When rest and retreat is needed, the great room utilizes sliding glass doors that open the interior to create engawa, a space between inside and outside.  The bedroom shares this same detail, where the evening landscape can also be enjoyed from over or within the placid reflecting pool that bookends the east most side of the building.


Since the clients also desired additional space for visiting friends and family, two guest rooms were placed below grade away from the main structure to reduce the visual footprint from the home.  The living quarters can be accessed from the main home down a flight of stairs near the kitchen.  Despite their lower elevation though, the spaces take advantage of the steep mountainside topography by exposing their northern face to the majestic views enjoyed by the home above, allowing occupants to share in the serenity enjoyed by the main home.

LOCATION: Undués de Lerda, SPAIN
PROGRAM: Residential Home
FLOOR AREA: 352.3 m2
ARCHITECTURE DESIGN TEAM: 伊萊恩Lain Satrustegui, Javier Milara, Michael Blaeser, 賴亞恆 Willie Lion, Mario Hidalgo, Julen Fernandez.
CLIENT: Private
YEAR: 2019-Present