Architects: Concrete Architectural Associates, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Location: Girona, Spain
As the autumn days grow shorter and outdoor temperatures decrease, cocktails and terraces have now given way to the working season. However, for those who did not yet have their share of summer delight, regions such as Spain’s Girona still have much to offer. The Hotel Castell D’emporda, in particular, will enchant latecomers with a signature restaurant featuring a large terrace and a stunning view of the surrounding landscape.
Dutch architects at Concrete Architectural Associates have developed, at the clients’ request, a unique open space protecting customers from the wind and rain. The terrace’s main feature is a modern roof built with sympathy to the typical style of the historical and listed building.
The main challenge for the designers was to create a space which provides indoor-like protection whilst granting customers with the unrivalled benefits of a terrace. To this aim, they created structures which look like parasols: Twelve circles of various diameters placed randomly across the terrace. The circles seamlessly melt together, or leave open spaces which are filled in with glass.
The circular parasol shapes strengthen the feeling of sitting in an outdoor environment. The protective covering appears as a separate and almost temporary element, leaving the ancient building untouched. The designers voluntarily avoided the use of a glass roof or a winter garden which would have appeared as an extension of the building. Its modern look and feel would also have clashed with the ancient architecture of the hotel.
The top and edges of the parasols are made of rusted steel, seeking harmony with the building and the natural environment. The white-painted steel columns and ceiling create an open and lightened up outdoor atmosphere under the parasols.
At times of strong and cold winds, transparent PVC curtains can be deployed to enclose the marble dining tables. The curtains hang from a top rail integrated into the perimeter of each parasol and settled into the ground. When the mistral winds awake, the whole terrace can be closed in a matter of minutes.
Technical info: Transparent PVC curtain
Picture credits: Ewout Huibers for Concrete, Wilkins.nl for Concrete