Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
The Fisherman’s House in Negradas, Lugo, Spain by Arquitectos Ayala
May 28th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Arquitectos Ayala
In a small hamlet of four inhabitants called Gatariza, which belongs to the village Negradas within the municipality of O Vicedo (Lugo), on the banks of the river Sor, we built, or better refurbished, a small house that had belonged to a fisherman who had just passed away and transformed it into a holiday house.In Galicia, rural houses are distributed with such common sense that it is difficult for any architect to improve on this.
We found a house that had on its ground floor the stable on the main façade and the kitchen on the back façade, which was where the house was accessed from. On the upper floor there was a bedroom and a living room above the kitchen. In a corner of the small living room there was a toiled locked up in a kind of cupboard that didn’t have any drainage or plumbing as the human excrements fell directly into the stable where they got mixed with those of the cow. The heat coming from the kitchen and the stable served to heat up the rest of the house. At the top there was a small attic where the fisherman kept his keepsakes. The surface of the whole house was 62m2.
Everything had to be refurbished: floors, ceilings, stairs, etc. since everything was made of wood and was destroyed by woodworms. We didn’t change the arrangement, or the height of the ceilings or the staircase. The stable became a dining room and the first floor was divided into a toilet of 2,10m x 1m placed opposite the staircase and two bedrooms. We raised the roof as far as permitted to be able to create a living room with a loggia and a running bench where you can rest, read or meditate looking out on the fields and the river.
Neither the bricklayers nor the architect intended this to be an architect’s project, or a technical feat. What propelled us was the love of the place and of the future users, the two youngest of the family, since it is our great ambition that the whole family spend the summer together, and the rest of the children already had their houses.My wife, my children and myself discussed every detail. We drew on small papers in a notebook, sometimes on the notepaper we found in hotels, and sent the pictures of these drawings taken with a mobile phone to the builder. There were never any plans, only small drawings and sketches.
The windowed balcony mounted on a large piece of slate that we set in the wall is a Galician balcony, and they, the neighbours, the villagers, recognize it as theirs. The loggia is also Galician and the yellow aluminum frames also come from the area. Almost all the wooden beams were preserved and the ones that were damaged were replaced.We didn’t want to be architects, just people who know the area and its surroundings very well. In the river Sor, next to the house, you can fish seabrass, and further up the river different varieties of trouts. Twenty minutes walk from there is the port of El Barquero, that belongs to La Coruña and we have been fishing in this ria for forty years. For me it is, with Cudillero, the most picturesque port in Galicia and Asturias.
This house is situated in the depths of Galicia. We bought it in the midst of the estate craze, fleeing from the thousands and thousands blocks of flats that were destroying the coast. We believe it is a HOUSE and it doesn’t have any further claims, but in our view it doesn’t lack anything nor has it anything that is not necessary.We cannot buy big or small shoes but need shoes that fit us. This is the way the house is, neither big nor small, but just what is necessary for its future users.
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Category: Fisherman's House