Proposed refurbishment of a dwelling in a building in Zaragoza built in the early 90. The project works on a house whose type is very common in the city. This type of construction is between 4 and 5 meters wide, two or three floors, is very deep and usually have a small courtyard. The state of the building when we accepted the commision was crumbling, the roof was partially demolished and much of the floors were affected by pathologies caused by water coming through the roof.
We proceeded to use the parts of the building in good condition as the main facade, the vertical structure of the slabs and beams supporting the roof. Thus, we used the existing to establish the main strategy. We started building new floors and moved them from their original position. It allowed us building a central void that solved many of the requirements that both the house and the inhabitants demanded.
From this point the rest is faced with an attitude of maximum respect. Light materials and prefabricated building systems were used. The massive use of wood in both the structure and finishes tried to establish a point of coherence with traditional building systems that we are in, and that are so common in the architecture of the area.
Viladecavalls is located on a small raised hill in Vallès area that makes that it has a dominant position to the territory. Located in an urban area with a garden city configuration and a dispersed and very heterogeneous architecture, the plot is behind the village and facing the landscape without any obstacle in front that can cover the view towards the territory.
The project tries to incorporate the limit situation in which it is. On one side the village, isolated houses, urbanization. On the other side the landscape, the territory, the views towards Montserrat mountain. This duality builds the house geometry, its situation within the plot and the typology adopted.
The house dialogues with the traditional architecture and is inspired by the traditional Catalan houses on the other side of the valley. Like the architecture of the Masia, made by addition of elements, the house is formed by four perfect squares, each different size which respond to the needs of the program that is requested and to the required structural and climatic needs. These squares respond to this landscape-urbanization duality. Its position follows the guidelines that mark the geometry of the site, but at the same time opens it to the views. In this way concave and convex zones are generated around the house that enrich the interstitial spaces of the plot avoiding residual spaces.
With this desire to be reflected in catalan popular architecture and to respond to the area typologies, each of the volumes that form the house has a sloping roof that, diagonally to the structure and responding to the constructive logic, drains to the most optimal area away from the other volumes.
Finally, the house is built with wood frame structure for two reasons. On the one hand, the low quality terrain required a house as light as possible and on the other hand this solution allowed us to act with criteria of sustainability and high energy efficiency in the facades, making this a very comfortable place to live, so in winter and in summer almost no active air conditioning systems are needed to reach high levels of comfort.
We had the opportunity to work in a blacksmith workshop to turn it into a home. Despite the need to completely change the configuration of space and structure we have tried to preserve the spirit of the workshop, the cranes, the light the systems and the materials.
The house is deep and narrow. The main parts are placed at the ends in the facades leaving a big light void in the middle. The project focuses on strengthening the relations between the inhabitants of the house through the introduction into this big void of a metal structure hanging different spaces which are suposed to maximize these relationships.
This superstructure is also hanging a spiral staircase that widens and tightens leading to these different indeterminate spaces to the top terrace. These spaces also cause the appearance of two interior facades treated in the same way as external that give some autonomy to each of the most private parts of the house.
This project is a clear example of how our study incorporates into project processes of what Smithson called "as found". The introduction of what we found as a rereading of what the place was once enriched the intervention along with the new inhabitants provide.
This comission of a young couple gave us the opportunity to initiate a series of research focused on the flexibility of housing inside apartment buildings.
This research works with systems that must be able to adapt to changes that occur over the life of the houses and their inhabitants.
In this case a system of "pieces-furniture" that organize the program according to their position define the uses of each part of the house. This search for flexibility of use is transferred to the variety of circulations providing housing multiple readings and possibilities for change. The furniture not only takes into account all these features but at the same time defines the character of the intervention through its own construction sistems,, form and materiality.
A framework system of plywood finished with pinewood slats eases the implementation and allows the possibility of setting up laticces that let light into the darker areas of the house. This way we dematerialize the volumes like it happens with their relative position to the distribution.
Alpicat is a small town located northwest of Lleida whose main industries are agriculture and ceramics industry. The project tries to recover some of the conditions of the traditional area architecture. Thereby all materials used in the construction are local. The bricks and vaults come from the local ceramics industry while both concrete structural elements as the rest of the materials come from neighboring Lleida. The walls are both structure and enclosure. The construction systems are shown in all its reality looking for a responsible and adapted to local architecture.