Acha Zaballa Arquitectos as Architects

The single-family house is located in the residential area of Montealegre, a prominently green rural area that lately is being colonized by new dwellings and low-density developments.

In this setting with beautiful sights and various vicinities, considering the small size of the plot and its building codes an optimization exercise is proposed. The goal is to get maximum performance of the exterior enjoyable space as well as of the built volume.

The plot geometry is irregular though closed to a square plan. Once applied the rules of maximum buildability and minimum distances to the boundaries, it results a central square plan surface surrounded by a homogeneous band (5-7 meters wide) without cualification in which is difficult to escape from the violence imposed by the closed contiguous properties. It is not possible to achieve an outer intimate area for resting and playing due to the limits of the plot extension. So we proposed to build it in height.

We proposed excavating the SE-SW alignment to ensure a private and sunny underneath garden.

The owners’ passion for mountaineering and climbing helped in the discussion about the convenience of renouncing a covered garage in favour of an exterior excavated garden.

The folds of the retaining walls suitable for climb practise were a positive argument.

Two volumes of 7,50x9,30m rest on a third of 4,80x9,30m under ground, each one sliding over the previous. The volume composition is accompanied by the south emptied space, which opens the underground floor on the SE-SW facade. The project implies the creation of various exterior spaces, covered and uncovered, below and over the hang volumes and the multiplication of uses once the privacy is guaranteed.

The terrace open to the south and facing the neighbouring roof. The underneath platform open to the south, protected from external visuals, covered and uncovered area, sun and shade for summer days. The ground floor porch, covered place in front of the kitchen. The reinforced concrete containing walls with its folds willing to approach 'the natural' serves as outdoor climbing support. The stairs and serving units form a central column that organizes the inner space. Towards one side and another rooms and living room are displayed.

The constructive strategy involves seriation not only in volume but in facades composition. Only one same size window appears on each elevation.

The constructive solutions seek sobriety both in the detail execution and in the repertoire of materials.

The house aims to achieve maximum efficiency and profitability from clear management strategies of building set on the plot and construction clearance in terms of materials and systems employed.

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Minories Hotel
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Minories Hotel

London, United Kingdom - Build completed in 2016
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