An architectural gem
I remember as an architectural student in the early 60s this kind of complexity in domestic architecture was at the forefront, or new wave of design, so it is remarkable for me to suddenly encounter what must have been one of the earliest and best built example of the genre.

The architect has taken details, and a formal language, from both the vernalular tradition including pitched, tiled roofs, chimneys, granite retaining walls, balconies, pathways and narrow flights og steps typical of the region, and set them in a thoroughly modernist langvawe of organic composition reminicent of Alvar Aalto, and Corbusier particularly with respect to the, overall design dicipline, cranked walls, and diagonal fireplaces. It is deliberately and carefully designed yet with a spirit of informalty and extraordinary invention and variety.The village also has a concept of lending each house a spirit of privacy together with a sense of community.

This is an architectural gem.

From an earlier era Portmeirion Village, where an Italian hill village (such as for instance Todi in Umbria), was mentally dismantled and reassembled tumbling down to an estuary in a Welch coastal setting, with a five star hotel at its focus, the dream of the architect Clough Williams-Ellis, is resonant of this complex. Portmeirion incorporates, besides a hotel, small exclusive shops, private housing and apartments (
The scale of the Village Catalan, though smaller is for me no less interesting and even more astounding.

Joe Collins
United Kingdom
October 1999 "

From the Village Catalan guestbook. © 1999 - All rights reserved

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