The small village of Ullastret in the Girona province is a quiet town with an identity that has lasted centuries, and this holiday home in Catalonia was developed as a coherent, deferent, and unique response to its surroundings.
As with much of the medieval structures in town, the site was encircled by ancient stone walls marking the boundaries of the original estate, but were subsequently dismantled and moved slightly during restoration, with the walls now functioning as the home’s exterior perimeter.
Designed by Catalan based firm, Harquitectes, the home is composed of interrelated outward facing spaces that paradoxically create a private inwardly focused habitat that faces the gardens and pool and remains sheltered from the street.
Illuminated and warmed by large bi-folding windows that run the length of the structure, the linear spaces create a sequence of corridors dividing the living room, kitchen and dining areas on one end, and the private en suite sleeping spaces at the farthest end.
Composed entirely of polished and raw concrete, the interiors nevertheless have a sense of lightness and have been maximized for functionality and social interaction. A sparse selection of neutral, modern furnishings and an absence of superfluous decor allow the architecture the spotlight.
The interior gardens are grassy and peaceful with a central pool and areas for private relaxation that tie it all together.
Wifi throughout, cable TV, underfloor heating, kitchen and bath amenities, laundry facilities, private parking. Bikes for guests use.
The small medieval village of Ullastret along the Costa Brava is located less than an hour from Girona and is encompassed by many well-preserved stone structures and fortifications similar to the walls of the house. Outside of the sheltered narrow streets is the town’s Gothic Llotja Square and the remarkable ancient Iberian settlements – one of the most important archaeological sites of the Iberian period in Catalonia.
The Costa Brava is bordered to the north by the the beautiful and protected Garrotxa region and to the south by the Gavarres national park, surrounded by some of Catalonia’s most breathtaking natural and coastal beauty. Don’t miss El Canadell, a hidden gem of a beach in the picturesque fishing village of Calella de Palafrugell.
A small medieval city and university town with fabulous Catalonian restaurants, shops, bars and cafes, historic Girona sits along the River Onyar where the walled Old Quarter (Barri Vell) features the ancient Roman rampart fragments of the Vella fortress woven through the tiny streets and alleyways.
The area is also home to the authentic and picturesque medieval towns of Besalu, Figueres (home of surrealist painter Salvador Dali), Santa Pau, Castellfollit de la Roca, Olot and Alta, all in less than an hour’s drive. Going back over two thousand years, the ancient Roman Road route is a fascinating drive through the region.
Ullastret, Girona, Costa Brava, Spain. Nearest Airport: Barcelona El Prat Airport (2 hours)
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Spring through Fall although the mild winter months can also be pleasant.
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