This little weekend house located on the side of the Ezcabarte Valley is a sort of manifesto of intentions by Iniguez and Ustarroz on the new Basque architecture, whose inspiration is drawn largey from the ideas of the Archives d’Architecture Moderne and the Tendenza. The architects nevertheless were careful in their adherence to a current drawn from local traditions in the Basque valleys and from the great European tradition of classicism, two terms which are not always easily reconciled.
The house’s program is minimal and makes no organizational concessions designed to make a weekend house more typical or cozy. The small constructive elements are large and rigid, nearly humoristically geometric, from the right-triangular pediment to the endless stairway. Like a belvedere looking out at the mountains surrounding the valley, the architects wanted the Irabarren House to express the symbolic and mythical nature of the Basque rural house, including the nearby houses in the valley, but it was also strongly influenced by the Kriers’ proposals. And it is doubtful that the other houses in Ezcabarte have roofs withoud eaves or graneries facing west.
When the house was extended in 1982, a series of Mediterranean elements were added, the result of Iniguez and Ustarroz’s explorations in the world of Greek recreation. Among them are a pavillion whose style contrasts with that of the house and a glassedin porch with a pergola that serves to broaden the program while conserving the former house as a main apartment…[+]