When Pascual and his partner went looking for a weekend house near their home in Valencia (Spain), they wanted to avoid the built-up Mediterranean coastline. While exploring a sheltered valley just an hour and a half south of their city, they stumbled upon a plot of land on a protected hillside zoned for agricultural use.
The land is covered in cherry trees, the views of the Mediterranean are spectacular and neighbors here are sparse, but the largest building they could build on their plot was an agricultural tool shed, a "casa de aperros." So they called on architects Enproyecto Arquitectura to create a shelter within the maximum permitted size of 25 square meters (269 square feet) and build them a tool shed as a home.
"El refugio en La Vall de Laguar" (the refuge in the Laguar Valley) is arguably one of the most stunning tool sheds ever built, but the small, stone structure doesn't call attention to itself. Its local stone walls -- built in the "dry" method (without concrete) -- mimic the stone containing walls of the surrounding fields. Most of the windows, except for the large openings providing a view of the sea, are tiny. So from a distance, the home resembles yet another of the boulders dotting the mountainside.
Inside, the house takes a more modern turn with all white walls and black-painted steel girders. To maximize space, the architects lofted the bedroom though without using any support columns downstairs, creating the feeling of a "flying bedroom." A thicker lateral wall hides closets, a fireplace/oven, a recessed window used as a reading alcove and dozens of cabinets for "tools" large and small.