Antoni Bonet i Castellana |
El Prat de Llobregat, Spain [1949-1963]
I’m really glad to open this space with a very special building for me, La Ricarda designed by Antoni Bonet, also known as Gomis House. Not only was it the first place I visited when I started my Architecture Degree, but it is also located in my hometown, very close to Barcelona.
This wonderful modern home is placed in an exceptional space in “el Delta del Llobregat”, and surprisingly, there are a lot of local people who don’t know about it. In 1949, the Gomis Bertrand family decided to contact the Catalan architect Antoni Bonet, who was living in Buenos Aires, to put him in charge of their summer and weekend home in an idyllic place next to the sea and surrounded by pines.
After some project changes, and with Bonet directing the works from a distance, that is what I have enjoyed a second time: a modular house that spreads out on the land, being part of the environment and under an incredible roof of catalan vault that seems to float among the pines. The glass building enclosure mixed with the ceramic lattice creates spaces with plenty of natural light and it makes it a really nice atmosphere. It is very interesting to see the original furniture, which was carefully thought by the architect, and which transports you to the 60s.
One of the daughters of the couple Gomis Bertrand walked us through the house during the visit and showed us its surroundings. She told us the story of the building and some anecdotes of her childhood there, which helped us to understand the importance that it had in the past. The living room, which one day could be a family area, the next day it would turn into a concert hall because of its wonderful acoustics.
Among other things, she told us that during postwar years it became a meeting point for the intellectual Catalan society. To carry through this interesting social and cultural activity, the functional layout of the house was really suitable.
This modular house is divided in different pavilions depending on their use. On the one hand, and very close to the entrance, there is the area of the kitchen, office and service, next to the dining room and the living room. On the other hand, there is a whole wing for the children. Here, the bedrooms are organized in pairs, and it is possible to connect or separate them thanks to sliding cork doors.
It should be pointed out that the master bedroom is placed in an independent pavilion (with a bathroom and a study), showing the base unit. To emphasize the autonomy of the pavilion, the architect didn’t want to connect it with the rest of the house. Finally, it was linked by a glass corridor because of Ms Gomis, who looked for the comfort of her bedroom.
The servant rooms and the garage are next to the kitchen, and finally, away from the rest of the building, the tower (a water tank and a studio), which rises through the pines. It is not possible to visit it because of security problems, which is a pity.
If you want to know more about this private home, I recommend you to have a look at the book “la Ricarda, Antoni Bonet”, published by COAC.