La Moraleja is a modern three story private residence that was refurbished in 2012 by ÁBATON Architects, nestled in a heavily vegetated landscape in Madrid, Spain. The home’s construction dates from 1984, with a closed and dark distribution but very well built so the final project eliminated actions that were thought necessary in the early stages of the project.
Basically, we altered the construction’s morphology to improve the general energy saving and strengthened the magnificent views over the impressive garden; we re-organized the interior space in full and as a novelty, we improved the thermal efficiency by applying an external insulation. Additionally, we designed the new landscape, re-organizing the existing species and planting new ones according to the new uses of the 8,072 square foot (750 square meters) house.
ÁBATON was founded in 1998 by Camino Alonso, Ignacio Lechón and Carlos Alonso. From the beginning they aimed for the projects to express the facts that defined the Studio. To achieve it they started up the Construction Company in order to control the whole building process as well as the final result. ÁBATON projects’ impact determined the high turnout of clients searching for a place that expressed the same language of light, sustainability and space that ÁBATON applies to all its projects. Currently, ÁBATON is developing more efficient work processes to confront bigger challenges that have to do with the international growth of the Studio.
Photos: Courtesy of ÁBATON Architects
Stone Respect is a house rehabilitation project designed by Dom Arquitectura, located close to the river in the village of Noutigos, in Carnota, Spain. The goal was to respect the current volumes of this old 2,174 square foot (202 square meters) house, maintaining the stone facade, and replacing the original windows in chestnut wood.
The architects proposed only two new small and strategic openings in the south wall for their views and the natural light needed for specific locations. The new openings with iron frame and fixed glass contrast with the existing ones and which are treated with a chestnut wood.
Part of the south facade formed with very small stones has had to repair due to continuous moisture, so we propose a mortar render. We have maintained the large stones around the windows, and have continued to finish smoothing existing lines almost the entire first and second floor. The entrance garden has been treated with a great old reclaimed flagstones, wood benches, albizias, ivy and lavender, give us a simple but hearty welcome.
The recovered stone forms the interior finished walls. In the ground floor they combined with ocher mortar, it generates a game as a baseboard with different heights, covering damaged stone areas and adapting to the interior space distribution. The result is a balanced interior finish where dominates the mortar ocher and stones colors.
The ground floor is a open space with a continuous pavement, where we place the dining room, the kitchen and the living area. On the first floor we located three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The slabs are made with clay vault painted with a gray glaze.
The second floor under the cover is a space originally used as clothesline, now has become a completely open space, flooded with natural light through skylights and a cut in the cover that originates a small terrace with beautiful views to Finisterre and the Carnota bay. Respect the stone, recover the existing elements and combine them with an open and new distribution, actual lighting and furniture, creates a new charming spaces.
Prior to Renovation
Photos: Victor Solis
This rehabilitation project has been undertaken by Dom Arquitectura in a small village in La Cerdanya, Spain, on the north valley side, with views to the south. The heart of the village consists of 20 houses, surrounded by agricultural land. Breathtaking views of the Cadi make this setting feel like a piece of paradise.
Most of the buildings in the village form a construction around an outside space, the “era”. The village map shows they have been built and arranged to complement the surrounding area. Overall they form a grid-like pattern of barns and stables as well as houses.
One group of buildings consisted of a haystack, barn, warehouse, small dwelling and badiu and our client wished this space to be re-designed and re-arranged to become his home with several guest areas.
The size of the existing buildings has been maintained, though their facades, roofs and interior dimensions have been re-designed and adapted. The badiu has now become a large covered open space with renovated roof trusses. There is no bonding material between the timber and the tiles.
Inside, the rooms and guest areas retain the stone walls while the flooring, tiles, woodwork and ironwork combine to give a sense of spaciousness. From many rooms spectacular views can be enjoyed and these seem to blend with and flow from the interior design.
Photos: Jordi Anguera
This beautiful original structure was restored by the owner, a book lover who wanted books incorporated into the decor of this apartment in the heart of Madrid, Spain. The owner purchased this apartment because of its excellent location. Regarding the organization of space, the original layout of the house was kept the same and the woodwork restored and reinforcing the presence of some architectural elements as decorative and useful in the reorganization of environments.
The owner kept the decor and furnishings to a minimum and opted for a sober white paint. The goal is to emulate a brand new canvas on which to express their emotions and moods through an interior based on ephemeral pieces. He declared his passion for decoration and is a follower of the latest trends, wanting his own home to be a changing space. This is the reason that occasionally textiles, furniture and ornamental details get renewed from time to time, to give a new twist to the interior of each room.
Facing the most festive time of year, for example, details on the range of red – in its more sober version – take center stage; especially in the form of rugs, cushions, or small ornaments. Decorative light garlands bring an evocative air to certain environments, like the bedroom, so relaxing with its new lighting, that it invites you to keep the classic Christmas ornament throughout the year. Here also plays an important role in cushion colors and pink blanket, directly responsible for the change in decor based on white as a basis for any renewal.
Always looking for renewal, some set pieces are transformed into decoration; furnishings from the 50’s and 60’s of triangular legs and wood are star materials. The kitchen and bathroom, both spaces that are very functional and spacious, with plenty of storage and, once again, with white as a starting point, which facilitates the inclusion of accessories in contrasting colors.
Photos: Mi Casa
This charming holiday home decorated in a chic Nordic style is full of warmth, dressed in a casual and comfortable style, located in a residential area on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain. Although there were not any changes made structurally, the owner did have some interior renovations made before moving in, enlisting the help of the company Consultants of Projects and Design as well as interior designer Carolina Verdugo Svensson, who advised on the decor.
The pleasant smell of wood, warm view of the fire in the fireplace, soft feel of textiles tastefully chosen and melodic birdsong garden are elements that awaken the senses and make this house a cozy space. Newly built and open plan loft, his young owner was very clear that his idea was to get a comfortable, cheerful and bright home.
On one level with garden, the house features an open area where living, dining and kitchen are organized, and a partially separated space where there is a en-suite bathroom and dressing room.
In order to further enhance the natural light that enters the garden through the large windows throughout the house-except the floor of the kitchen and bathroom which have tile, natural hard wood flooring was installed, the walls were painted in a tan tone and doors in white. On the other hand, with the idea of maximizing space and providing privacy to the private areas of the home, the designer created custom furniture in the kitchen and to delineate the living room from the bedroom, designed original wooden furniture.
Scandinavian formula: As for the decor, simplicity, harmony and warmth typical of the northern countries of Europe, when decorating their homes are the hallmarks of all environments. Thus, the various rooms are equipped with modern designed furnishings with pieces of vintage air and others made with recovered materials. Meanwhile, textiles with different materials (suede, wool, cashmere) have been responsible for giving a warm and natural touch. This freshness, originality and Nordic style is also reflected in the Christmas decoration based on few but chosen ornaments, made a tree branch with a garden and a detail with a lot of magic: the many candles scattered strategically with its light illuminating all corners.
Photos: Carlos Yagüe for Casadiez
Can Manuel d’en Corda is a contemporary remodel and extension of a traditional stone wall house designed by Marià Castelló Martínez, located on the island of Formentera, Spain. The 6,407 square foot (595.3 square meters) residence is situated on a plot of 19,060 square meters of rustic nature in the area of the Vénda des Cap de Barbaria.
The most significant pre-existing conditions, which have been maintained and enhanced through the project, are a small forest of pines and junipers located in the west area of the estate and the old house Can Manuel de’n Corda, which reflects the scheme type of the domestic vernacular architecture developed in Formentera between the late eighteenth and mid nineteenth century. The volume of the main body with simple pitched roof gable and southeast orientation, and its roots in the landscape through the traditional dry stone walls, highlight the link between this type of building with the farms next to which they were located.
The extensive briefing for the project has been arranged so that while exhaust the urban parameters allowed by the current planning, it distorts as little as possible the existing house and, simultaneously, has its volume so that it has less presence possible from the immediate fragile environment. This has been possible through the use of a fragmented volumes available on ground floor in non-orthogonal disposition, offsetting in midsection plant about the level of the existing house,and adapted to the topography as well as keeping intact the facades characteristics of this architectural style ( southeast and northwest facades, where they were all original openings). This will resort to the ends that were originally blind (northeast and southwest facades) for connections to pieces of new creation, and to realize the new openings that allow better use of natural light.
Although it has been maintained the original main entrance of the house with its southeast orientation, at a strategic level the new house turns its back on the road which limit with the plot by the East side. Thus the extension of the home overlooks enjoys the best views to the northwest, which overlooks the island of Es Vedra, an iconic element of the southern skyline of the neighboring island of Ibiza.
In the original house have been maintained the common areas (living, dining, kitchen and terraces), while on the ground floor of the expansion have been concentrated the bedrooms and service rooms (laundry, cellar, pantry , etc …) and technical premises on the basement.
Photos: Estudi Es Pujol de s’Era
This newly built modern villa is located in the exclusive residential area of Santa Ponsa, Mallorca, Spain, with stunning sea and mountain views, close to the marina of Port Adriano. This sensational home encompasses 4,994 square feet (464 square meters) of living space with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. The ground floor offers an open kitchen with spacious living/dining room, another room that could be used as an office or TV room plus a guest toilet.
This fabulous property is currently listed for sale, spotted on Sotheby’s at $3,636,885.
The first floor disposes of four bedrooms, two of them with en-suite bathroom and dressing room, plus another separate bathroom. All bedrooms enjoy access to the terrace with fantastic views over the bay of Santa Ponsa. On the roof terrace there is an outdoor kitchen with dining and chill-out area.
The basement disposes of built-in closets/wardrobe, fitness room, laundry room and a garage with three parking spaces. Special features include a ‘Bulthaupt’ kitchen with built-in appliances from Miele and Gaggenau, floor heating, lift, marble flooring in the ground floor, oak flooring on the first floor, oak cupboards, double glazed windows from Schüco, Infinity-pool with green marble stones, private outdoor courtyard, lighting system, integrated sound system, air conditioning hot/cold, solar panels, fireplace, high-quality equipment and facilities and outdoor blinds on all windows.
The shopping possibilities in Santa Ponsa are just a short drive away and the luxury marina of Port Adriano with its restaurants, cafes and shops can be reached in just three minutes by car.
The industrial eclectic home of actor Gustavo Salmerón has been designed with reclaimed materials and plenty of imagination, located in Madrid, Spain. The actor came in and reinvented the home, which had been left unfinished by the previous owner. He invented the kitchen from scratch, improvised a second level and finished the frame with walls and floors of polished concrete. Below is the living area, and up the staircase you will find two bedrooms and the office.
The actor invented a polished concrete space where everything moves. It’s a great open and transparent space with permeable natural light that extends throughout the home. What happens in its 1,937 square feet (180 square meters) is controllable from any angle. With peculiar objects that inhabit and move to and fro with small wheels, as a prop, and lead to an interchangeable, chameleon stage, like a mechanical toy. It has an anachronistic point, fantastic story of Jules Verne, in which the recovered metals, old and rusty, the gleaming copper and a massive glazed abound. Nod to some prefab ago, lots of wood and lots of second hand customized waste in fireplaces, stoves, panels, faucets and other craft items. It is designed as a living theater, of regular warehouses, junkyards and salvage yards. They fed the creativity that has resulted in this home: futuristic, industrial and retro.
I had very clear ideas explains Salmeron. A New York loft, industrial, a decadent Berlin and leave a squatter point, and the third-a tropical Brazilian air with vegetation everywhere. I took the work like running a movie where the premise is fundamental. In this case it was to observe beams, columns, piping, or other structural elements. If they are there its because they are needed. We were like a film crew. When we were lost, each builder, plumber, electrician, blacksmith … all we had to follow was the premise: nothing should be ornamental. No plasterboard, ceilings, baseboards, paint, trim or anything that serves to cover another. That does not mean that later, if you want, you put a vase of flowers. The aim was to achieve “gritty”. Therefore, the concrete walls are vain in their nakedness. I want my house to be a sculpture in itself, says the artist, always ready to go onstage.
The House of the Infinite has been erected as if it were a jetty facing out to sea, designed by Alberto Campo Baeza, located alongside the Atlantic Ocean in Cádiz, Spain. Cádiz is a marvelous place, like a piece of earthly paradise, where the architects have built an infinite plane facing the infinite sea, the most radical house the architects have ever made. At the very edge of the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, where the sea unites the new and the old continent, emerges a stone platform. At the place where all the ships from the Mediterranean used to pass and still pass by as they head off into the Atlantic.
The 9,687 square foot (900 square meters) house is a podium crowned by an upper horizontal plane. On this resoundingly horizontal plane, bare and denuded, we face out to the distant horizon traced by the sea where the sun goes down. A horizontal plane on high built in stone, Roman travertine, as if it were sand, an infinite plane facing the infinite sea. Nothing more and nothing less.
To materialize this elevated horizontal plane, which is the main living room of the house, we built a large box with 20 meters of frontage and 36 meters deep. And under those first 12 meters we excavated two floors in the solid rock to develop the whole living space.
The Romans were there a handful of centuries ago. Bolonia, the ruins of the Roman fishing factories where they produced garum and built temples to their gods, is just a stone’s throw away. In their honor we have built our house, like an acropolis in stone, in roman travertine.
To give even greater force to the platform we incorporated all the terrain as far back as the entrance wall separating us from the street, also done in Roman travertine. Once inside the wall, the entrance to the house will be via a “trench” in the form of stairs dug into the upper surface of the platform.
A Greek poet said that this is a true temenos, a meeting-place, where according to mythology, humans and gods come together.
On the denuded stone platform, three walls surround us and protect us from the prevailing strong winds. Sometimes it is as if someone had opened the bag containing the winds of Aeolus. The same winds that drove on the vessel in which Ulysses made his journey home.
There is a lovely etching by Rembrandt from 1655, “Christ Presented before the People”, that has always fascinated me. In it, Rembrandt sketches a straight horizontal line. Perfectly straight and perfectly horizontal. It is the border of the powerful dais, the podium upon which the scene takes place. There, as Mies did so often, he has made the plane into a line. I am certain that Rembrandt and Mies would like our podium house, all podium, only podium. As would Adalberto Libera, who did the same thing when he built his Malaparte House in Capri. And we like it too. And when we look at our house from the beach, we will be reminded of all of them.
We wanted this house to be capable not only of making time stand still, but to remain in the minds and hearts of humankind.The house of the infinite.
Photos: Javier Callejas Sevilla
Model Concept 1
Model Concept 2
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