Aguirre House
Lluìs Casals

Aguirre House

Carrascal•Blas as Architects

Given the restricted dimensions of the plot (4x9 meters), the interior of this house in the old city centre of Bayona (Pontevedra, Spain), is conceived as a sequence of relatively autonomous rooms defined by variations of proportion, form and layout of ceilings and a diversity of materials. The different arrangements of oak wood, and the contrast between paved surfaces of concrete, tile, marble and wood contribute to produce a fragmented interior which is imaginarily expanded, assuming at the same time the intimacy of domestic space.


Oak wood is the dominant and unifying material. Its extensive use allows for an understanding of the “small house” as a “big piece of furniture”, in which compartments, drawers and doors multiply. A system of wooden lintels defines the divisions between compartments. At the upper level, the lintels support a series of pyramid ceilings which emphasize the autonomy of each room and expand its height. This solution includes light niches and skylights, which evoke the so-called lumieiras, a typical element of vernacular architecture in Galicia. At the ground level a repetitive system of joists rest on the main lintels. The space between joists is equal to the joist section, producing a strong floor structure that allows, again, for a vertical expansion of the interior. Moreover, the wooden joists and lintels are structurally linked to a layer of reinforced concrete which supports the heating “carpets” for the upper floor: electric radiant cable below a tiled finishing.


The warm wooden interior contrasts with the hard coldness of the exterior, defined by the pre-existing golden granite walls. The new exterior elements (cornice, door, shutters, latticework, ventilation covers, etc), stem from the continuity with the construction logic of the old building, and were used to set the tone for the whole intervention. Such continuity indicates the priority given to “coherence” as a goal for architectural design, beyond “style” and “taste”, in this particular project.


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