X-House by Cadaval & Sola-Morales, Barcelona

The X-House sits atop a steep hill in Cabrils, Barcelona, with impressive views over a valley.
The X-House sits atop a steep hill in Cabrils, Barcelona, with impressive views over a valley.
(Image credit: Sandra Pereznieto)

...

The house is the handiwork of young Mexico City and Barcelona-based architects, Cadaval & Sola-Morales

Fashioned in the shape of its namesake, albeit in giant concrete form, the house is the handiwork of young Mexico City and Barcelona-based architects, Cadaval & Sola-Morales, known for their bold, formal gestures and modern lines.

(Image credit: Iwan Baan)

X-House is sited lower than the street, minimizing its public presence and keeping existing views in tact.

X-House is sited lower than the street, minimizing its public presence and keeping existing views in tact.

(Image credit: Sandra Pereznieto)

X-House by Cadaval & Sola-Morales, Barcelona

Its unusual form is not simply gestural - the splayed sides allow light to penetrate the back of the building and the angled frontage maximizes the splendid views

(Image credit: Sandra Pereznieto)

The lower level offers large, open plan living spaces

The lower level offers large, open plan living spaces

(Image credit: Iwan Baan)

Tall mullions give rhythm and provide a discreet sense of enclosure in a space dominated by its exterior

Tall mullions give rhythm and provide a discreet sense of enclosure in a space dominated by its exterior

(Image credit: Sandra Pereznieto)

Clean lines in the kitchen.

Clean lines in the kitchen.

(Image credit: Sandra Pereznieto)

A monochrome colour palate distinguishes the interiors.

A monochrome colour palate distinguishes the interiors.

(Image credit: Sandra Pereznieto)

Cadaval & Sola-Morales have a knack for concrete, and express their prowess with cantilevering wings and six-meter high walls.

Cadaval & Sola-Morales have a knack for concrete, and express their prowess with cantilevering wings and six-meter high walls.

(Image credit: Sandra Pereznieto)

The use of engineering associated with bridges and industrial buildings lends itself well to this stern 'X' projecting out over a Spanish hilltop.

The use of engineering associated with bridges and industrial buildings lends itself well to this stern 'X' projecting out over a Spanish hilltop.

(Image credit: Sandra Pereznieto)

The top floor holds the owners' private suite.

The top floor holds the owners' private suite.

(Image credit: Iwan Baan)

The private living room.

The private living room.

(Image credit: Iwan Baan)

The building is topped by a roof terrace that covers the entire structure.

The building is topped by a roof terrace that covers the entire structure.

(Image credit: Iwan Baan)

The architects have installed a glass parapet, thus avoiding even the slightest visual annoyance of a handrail.

The architects have installed a glass parapet, thus avoiding even the slightest visual annoyance of a handrail.

(Image credit: Iwan Baan)

The house is at once generous and aggressive, playful and utilitarian...

The house is at once generous and aggressive, playful and utilitarian...

(Image credit: Sandra Pereznieto)

Cadaval Sola Morales X HOUSE

... and it is these ambiguities and contradictions that make it so intriguing.

(Image credit: Santiago Garces)

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).