A unique opportunity for us in reality a problem that’s been posed thousands of times: to construct a house with a public programme of social relation, associated with the private life of a numerous family on a sloping plot of land with privileged views of the mountains outside Madrid.
It has no one solution, there are many, they’re even catalogued in books about houses of a slope. We try not to think of domestic spaces. On the contrary, we take as a point of reference works of engineering, motorway intersections, changes of direction.
We proceed from generic solutions to the problem of descending , solutions that conceal great plasticity. We seek the poetic in all the seems to have been considered from the merely pragmatic point of view.
The result is the literal construction of a use diagram. In this instance, form does not follow function, but is instead function itself. Cyclical movement, routine and surprise turn into a way of living.
Its formal complexity offers the possibility of reaching all points of the house through two different routes, which multiply the possibilities of use and enjoyment.
It has the form of a loop, 360º, like the shapes skaters make, like those of gymnasts, as artistic as they are precise. An extreme shape, the house is curved, generating the greatest quantity of linear meters towards the good views.
It is shored up in the landscape and turns back on itself, completing the revolution. The degree of intimacy increases as the distance to the ends increases. At the midpoint, a mediatheque, isolated and completely dark, 100% technology, 0% landscape.
With a single gesture two ways of moving are generated: going down and looking outwards. The long house, a sinuous movement, a descent by ramp and ample turning radii tangential to the setbacks of the plot of land generate a panoramic vision.
The short house, the quick way in a straight line, stairs of direct descent and a deep view towards the landscape.
A building that is black outside, absorbent, of slate, a material specific to the location, almost imposed as an aesthetic specification of the area. White inside, reflective, generic, neutral and luminous. Life incorporates colour, outside with the vegetation and inside with the people.
Location: Galapagar, Madrid, Spain
Project Team: Andrés Silanes, Fernando Valderrama, Carlos Bañón
Structural design: Subarquitectura
Building services: Daniel Rodriguez
Area: 385 m2
Client: ARCO Design and Projects
Photo: David Frutos