El Poal is a thoughtful mix of materials, textures, forms, and spaces. The home was recently included on Amazon Prime’s “Make Yourself At Home” series.
You’ll find that Pol’s photographs are the perfect representation of this home – they’re minimal, yet steeped in beautiful light and bold lines. The photographs are equally quiet as they are dynamic. We feel a sense of wonder and curiosity about the space. Pol shows us just enough without giving too much away. Let’s check it out:
Pol introduces us to El Poal by sharing a bit about the structure. He says “Originally there were two separate houses connected by rammed earth party walls; the house is made of two narrow rectangular plots that measure around five meters wide and between 15 and 30 meters long. These walls, are typical of this area in Lleida province and give a special character to the project.
The walls serve, as well, to regulate the natural humidity, the temperature, and the acoustics inside the house. The project is basically, a rehabilitation of the interior spaces and also the construction of a new facade for the inner courtyard. Before photographing this project, I had already worked with Hiha studio on two other sessions; but the thing is that we are friends.”
“It was a typical sunny winter day, shiny and cloudless. We knew the sun would be low throughout the day and therefore it would enter quite a lot into the house. The renovation consisted precisely of this idea: emptying an old house by removing some floors to let the light in and transform the old dark and compartmentalized spaces into brighter and more open ones. So we tried to transmit this in the pictures. The architects were mostly interested in showing the common areas, so we were able to work without being rushed,” Pol explains.
We see that low, angular light in this next scene. The patterns on the brick and across the floor are stunning. Pol’s well-timed image radiates a sense of time – and a sense of heat.
Pol elaborates on his favorite photograph from the project, sharing “From the beginning, it was clear to me that I would have to wait until the sun was completely perpendicular to the facade in order to make the shadow of the central window frame draw a vertical line in the image. Besides, the point of view needed to be high enough to center the cross in the composition of the whole image.”
What a geometric, graphic photo. Bravo, Pol!
I love this next photograph. The repetition of the brick pillars adds a lovely rhythm to the scene. Our eyes are pulled past the dark foreground toward the back wall, where a well-placed figure helps us determine the scale of the scene.
Pol gives us insight into his workflow after the shoot, telling “I usually like to let the images sit for a couple of days, to get some distance between what I saw on the spot and the image that the camera has actually generated. Then I prepare some contact sheets to show the full footage to the client, so they can select the final images to work with. I used to work with someone who helps me in the post-production part because, generally, I have little time between reportages. After working on them, but before sending the final files to the client, I send them a previous draft to decide if there are still any final adjustments to be made.”
My favorite thing about this Project of the Week is the way that Pol lets the shapes do all of the talking. Minimal objects and styling allow us to focus our attention on the zig-zag of the staircase, the framing of the doors, the angular details, and the thoughtful lighting design.
As Pol backs us out of the house and further into the courtyard, there is a gorgeous interplay between the blue sky and the warm glow of the interior lights. The color harmony creates an inviting scene that is very pleasing to the eye. What a beautiful project!
If you have a project you’d like to be considered for Project of the Week, you can submit it here.