The Plywood house is located in a street of townhouses in a quiet neighbourhood of Palma. The need for extending the original ground floor house with a floor above while maintaining its base structure requires a lightweight solution to not overload the original stone walls.
This project has been approached as two parallel lines of research. In one hand we explored the possibilities of local manufacturing of plywood elements with a CNC router, and on the other hand a deep study on the crafts still alive in the island.
We start from an autonomous and de-contextualized structure base or pre-existence for which we manufacture an off-site prefabricated plywood system.
Starting with poplar plywood boards of 244x122cm, the structure gives us the opportunity to investigate and test a structural system that uses the language of its manufacturing process. By combining the elements of this system, defined by the capabilities of the CNC cut, the system serves as a starting point and can be reproduced in other types of buildings.
The project explores and incorporates local materials and artisans using local products with different degrees of industrialization. We focus our interest in companies like Huguet, that manufacture concrete tiles for decades in Mallorca, designing smooth and playful floor tiles on areas where needed. Special terracotta tiles from Miquel Soler, a traditional manufacturer from Felanitx, have been used on several parts of the façade and pool.
The optimization of cnc routing and the structural requirements, generate a varied structure geometry that define ornamental motives. The construction will be shown raw, bare and uncoated, while "ornaments" will give spatial rithm, decorating the interior. The lack of finishes show the structural geometry of the ceiling, linking it to arabesque ornamentation of the old town of Palma.
The intervention in the pre-existence, is done with primary materials, wood, stone, terracotta, all in their raw state.
The project establishes various "atmospheric zones" inside the house. There are rooms with diffused light, with morning light, facing north-east and facing south-west. Rooms that look to an interior patio, or rooms with afternoon sun and views of the nearby Castle. Some spaces have thermal mass are cooler in summer, while others with less thermal mass to be easily heated in winter, allowing for seasonal migration inside the home.
The architectural intention is to create an atmospheric spatial variety with seasonal use depending comfort, on which only wet rooms and kitchen have fixed use.