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.
House in Ávila, Spain by Claudia Olalla Gil
January 14th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Claudia Olalla Gil
Located at a high altitude (1200 meters above sea level), Las Navas del Marqués is characterized by cold winters and mild summers, which determine a low annual average temperature (10 ° C).
Taking advantage of the views of the valley of San Miguel coincident with the best orientation (south west), the house opens into the views and closes as much as possible to the north, avoiding energy losses.
The plot, only 800m2 with a steep slope of 33%, is surrounded by three neighbors, a circumstance that highlights even more the single orientation of the project and proposes a compact layout, occupying the center of the plot with the intention to maximize the outdoor spaces.
The owners, a couple with two daughters, commissioned a weekend retreat of manageable proportions but that could also comfortably accommodate the conventional dynamics of an entire family.
We then propose two stacked programs: the parents retreat upstairs and a separate apartment on the ground floor for the daughters. By assigning to each core a differentiated exterior space and a separate entrance, the capacity of the site is doubled while all the spaces are organized in the plot.
The two housing units, which will be definitively integrated into the ground over the years when their cladding darkens and plants hang from their terraces, have independent access from the outside but communicate through an internal staircase that makes them into a single residence. Two separate worlds benefit from two different exteriors. The house is staggered on the ground to take refuge in it, to take advantage of the views in all the main areas, and to present little facade towards the street.
During summer, the house is protected from the afternoon sun by operable lattices on the larger openings, complemented by a system of sliding doors that blur the boundary between inside and outside while allowing cross ventilation. Between the two layers of enclosure is a transitional space in the manner of a hallway or loggia that allows to extend the living room onto the terrace during warmer days, and invites the user to operate the two layers playfully, achieving multiple spatial configurations.
The spirit of the place, equipped with the new presence of the bi-nuclear home, tames the surrounding landscape and dilutes the presence of neighbors in seeking to create a space for rest and contemplation.
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