LocationPrincipality of Asturias, Spain
ArchitectsZon-e Arquitectos / Nacho Ruiz Allén, José Antonio Ruiz Esquiroz
PhotographsIgnacio Martinez and Jose Antonio Ruiz
From the architect. The purpose of the project was to design and build state subsidized housing in Cerredo (Asturias), a mining town located in the very heart of the Cantabrian Mountains, where no residential construction had been made for over 25 years.
The project had two stages that materialized in two perpendicular buildings forming an L shape. In the first stage we undertook the biggest building, which faces the road that crosses the town.
The volumetric we propose has an angular shape. It is a geometry crystallized from some elementary laws that are given by the town-planning regulations. The formal result is something halfway between a petrified object, a mountain’s shape and a disturbing organism floating over the mountainside.
This “crystallographic” object has the same dark color as the local slate. Like a piece of coal, it absorbs almost all the light it gets and reflects a small amount of it, calmly showing us its rich geometry.
The building’s unity contrasts with the individuality of each of the 15 apartments that show through some galleries in the facade. These are cubes which drill the volume using a herringbone pattern and work as heat and light exchangers.
Each of the apartments is different in size, floor plan distribution, location of its gallery and in its roof’s configuration. All of them enjoy cross ventilation and breathtaking views of Asturias’ craggy landscape.
The project’s nature as object is emphasized by the way the ground floor is approached: this has been set back along its perimeter, reinforcing the idea of a “floating body.”