Lead time on custom upholstery only 6 weeks!!

La Ricarda: An icon of the Catalan architecture of the '50s.

We enter Antonio Bonet Castellana's La Ricarda, one of the jewels of Catalan rationalism of the 1950s.

"An invisible façade - a real façade - that reveals the floor plan of the house" is how Marita Gomis, daughter of the owners, defines the roof of Casa Gomis, better known as La Ricarda.

La Ricarda was designed in the 1950s by Antonio Bonet - who directed the work "by correspondence" from Argentina - in close collaboration with the owner, Ricardo Gomis, and his wife, Inés Bertrand Mata. The Catalan architect devised a house composed of independent pavilions, with a Catalan vault roof over them, giving unity and personality to the whole. A large undulating horizontal plane that, in perfect balance with the pine-covered landscape next to the sea that shelters it, gives rise to a living and diffuse organism with the terrain, which introduces the landscape inside.

  • At a glance
  • Who lives here: Initially built for the Gomis couple. Currently, no one lives in it.
  • Location: El Prat de Llobregat, Barcelona
  • Architect: Antonio Bonet
  • Curious fact: The growth of El Prat Airport has left urban victims, among them this house, where the noise of the airplanes makes it impossible to live. The family organizes guided tours to keep its architecture alive and alleviate maintenance costs.
  • Photo: Simón García Asensio

It was developed in a single, asymmetrical floor plan -with a maximum height of 3.75 meters. The house organizes its program in the space bounded by the concrete platform resting on the ground and the undulating plane of the roof. Between them, an orthogonal mesh built from a module of 8.80 x 8.80 square meters and extended in two directions, longitudinally links one vault to the next, ordering and defining the distribution of the spaces.

In detail

  • Architecture
  • Houzz for professionals
  • 'La Ricarda': An icon of 1950s Catalan architecture.
  • We enter Antonio Bonet Castellana's La Ricarda, one of the jewels of 1950s Catalan rationalism.
  • Laura Novo Muñoz
  • Laura Novo MuñozAugust 30, 2020
  • Houzz contributor. Architect with extensive experience in architecture, design, and art publications. More

"An invisible façade - a real façade - that reveals the floor plan of the house," this is how Marita Gomis, daughter of the owners, defines the roof of Casa Gomis, better known as La Ricarda.

La Ricarda was designed in the 1950s by Antonio Bonet - who directed the work "by correspondence" from Argentina - in close collaboration with the owner, Ricardo Gomis, and his wife, Inés Bertrand Mata. The Catalan architect devised a house composed of independent pavilions, with a Catalan vault roof over them, giving unity and personality to the whole. A large undulating horizontal plane that, in perfect balance with the pine-covered landscape next to the sea that houses it, gives rise to a living and diffuse organism with the terrain, which introduces the landscape into its interior.

Curious fact: The growth of the Prat Airport has left urban victims, among them this house, where the noise of the airplanes makes it impossible to live. The family organizes guided tours to keep its architecture alive and alleviate maintenance costs.

Developed on a single, asymmetrical floor plan - with a maximum height of 3.75 meters - the house organizes its program in the space enclosed by the concrete platform resting on the ground and the undulating plane of the roof. Between them, an orthogonal mesh built from a module of 8.80 x 8.80 square meters and extended in two directions, longitudinally links one vault to the next, ordering and defining the distribution of spaces.

The vault ceases to be a simple covering element and becomes a vital part of the spatial definition of the house. It generates the pattern of movement of the house and the exterior features located on the platform: the swimming pool, the changing rooms, the lattices, the alignment of the retaining walls, and even the position of the water tank.

The enclosure lines dematerialize in the surrounding pine forest, sometimes in pillars and sometimes as opaque, semi-transparent, or completely transparent walls. If the vault is the star element, the eaves are undoubtedly vital in articulating the different modules that shape it, allowing the lateral concatenation of the vaults and the redirection of the roof waters. In addition to housing the support services, its width - 1.30 meters - delimits the circulation and passage areas between rooms. The depth of the eaves is also used as a reference to locate the enclosures on the east and west facades, either on the outer edge of the same, on the inside, or in the middle. These never function as support elements but are transformed into large ceramic or glass compositional walls or a brise-soleil to the west.

The module also defined the order and position of the different outdoor spaces associated with the main rooms. It converted into intermediate places, halfway between the interior and the surrounding nature. Thus, the living room has its vaulted porch, the children's bedrooms open onto an adjacent courtyard, the dining room has a reciprocal space outside, and the service area also has an associated enclosure.

Inside, the vaulted structure supported by metal pillars of a tiny section generates spaces of great depth and transparency, unusual features in the buildings of that time, usually made with load-bearing walls. The repetition of this module has as its central point the vestibule that organizes the different routes, where the vault is cut to form a courtyard as an impluvium, with a sheet of water reflecting the light inside.

In clear continuity with the exterior, the covered spaces reproduce the undulating profile of the pine forest surrounding the house. Thus, the four modules joined by the eaves that house the central common areas of the house -living room, dining room, and kitchen- define the south-facing program, while the wing of the bedrooms, garage, and service determines the axis of sea-forest growth. In 1997 the Gomis family decided to commission the restoration of La Ricarda to the architects Fernando Álvarez Prozorovch and Jordi Roig, who focused the intervention on the roof and carpentry. They dismantled and rebuilt the exterior vault -not structural-thus correcting the problems and maintaining the outward appearance defined by Bonet in his initial project.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published