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  4. Spain
  5. Emilio Ambasz
  6. 1975
  7. Classic: Cordoba House / Emilio Ambasz

Classic: Cordoba House / Emilio Ambasz

  • 01:00 - 11 April, 2012
Classic: Cordoba House / Emilio Ambasz
Classic: Cordoba House / Emilio Ambasz, © Michele Alassio
© Michele Alassio

© Michele Alassio © Michele Alassio © Michele Alassio © Michele Alassio +9

  • Architects

  • Location

    Seville, Sevilla, Spain
  • Architect

    Emilio Ambasz
  • Associate Architect

    Felipe Palomino Gonzalez
  • Model 1

    Nelusco Salvarani
  • Model 2

    Bradley Whitermore
  • Project Year

    1975
  • Photographs

  

© Michele Alassio
© Michele Alassio

Situated on a promontory overlooking a lake, the house appears like a very strong hieratic, only after the road's last turn. Once a treeless prominence, the house's surrounding site has become populated with olive trees.

© Michele Alassio
© Michele Alassio

Two tall, rough stuccoed white walls meet at a right angle, creating an envelope for the house, and defining its entrance. From this entrance, auditorium like steps of increasingly greater width lead down to an open-air square patio onto which the house opens. The walls outside meeting edge is oriented towards the North, so that its balcony is shaded, and the light entering the house is one moderated by the sunlight reflection on the walls' inner sides. The walls' orientation shelters the house from Northern winds.

© Michele Alassio
© Michele Alassio

The house is centered around the formal square patio, onto which all rooms open, in the Arabic-Andalusian tradition. This formal square patio is an outdoor extension of the living spaces since full walls of glass stack away to allow free movement from the outdoors to the indoors. An ambulatory, so oriented as to be always in shade, defines the patio's two other sides, and serves as the transition between the house and patio. 

© Michele Alassio
© Michele Alassio

The interior of the house consists, simply, of a large continuous space, defined on one side by long sinuous walls, with different areas defined by smooth cavities excavated into the floor and echoed by the ceiling above. The perimeter walls are washed by the soft diffuse light descending from the skylights. All practical needs and services (kitchen, baths, storage, etc.) are satisfied by diverse containers placed adjacent to the living room. One rests and sleeps either in the living areas or in the quiescent alcoves enclosed within the sidewalls. The informal curvilinear second patio insures cross-ventilation and allows for a more direct and informal access to the outside.

© Michele Alassio
© Michele Alassio

The balcony–another feature reminiscent of Andalusian architecture and a remarkable example of regional craftsmanship composed of over 3,000 pieces–provides a stirring view of the lake and the surrounding landscape. The ensemble of the house and its balcony, although not by conscious intention, recall the once ever present Andalusian observation towers (atalaya) used to observe the movements of Moorish troops and pirates. To accede to the balcony, two cantilevered metal stairways are provided, so designed that one invites to ascend, the other favors the descent. Water cascades within the handrails excavated, as deep grooves, on the high walls. The water, rushing down, generates at the bottom of the stairs and at the central semi-circular fountain that collects it, a great amount of sound. As the visitor ascends to the balcony, where the water originates, the sound becomes quieter until it seems to become liquid silence.

© Michele Alassio
© Michele Alassio

The house was built in the open, and then earth was collected against its walls to create an all enveloping berm, insulating the house. The building technique, as practiced by local builders, is of concrete and bricks: concrete floor and wall slabs resting on beds of cast sand; a liner of fiberglass, fused at the seams, is wrapped entirely around the buried surfaces. Insulated double walls and slender columns support a concrete roof vaulted in several places to help define living areas.

© Michele Alassio
© Michele Alassio

To keep the house cool in the hot-dry climate of Southern Spain, it is insulated by covering its roof with earth; this keeps it naturally cool in the hot, southern climate. Furthermore, it integrates the roof onto the surrounding greenery.

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Classic: Cordoba House / Emilio Ambasz" 11 Apr 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/224879/classic-cordoba-house-emilio-ambasz/>
Read comments

39 Comments

Ribal Sariedeen · September 14, 2016

No plans - sections ?

marciochris · July 27, 2015

This house is well known as Casa de Retiro Espiritual and is located in Seville, Spain.

Muriel Han · September 21, 2014

Isn't there anyone can give us plans of this great piece?
We want use it as the data for report and presentation at university!

Muriel · September 21, 2014

Isn't there anyone can give us plans of this great piece?
We want use it as the data for report and presentation at university!

Muriel · September 21, 2014

Isn't there anyone can give us some plans of this great piece?
We want to use it for the report&presentation at univercity.

timtom · December 05, 2013

It took me some time to locate this place on a map. Try searching for the coordinates 37° 40.558', -6° 11.266'
It can be seen from StreetView too: https://www.google.com/maps/pr...

jose · September 11, 2013

es feo de pelotas

susan swider · September 06, 2012

anyone know if site is open to public now?

susan swider · September 06, 2012

will be in area - is the site open to public now?

Revista Notas | CPAU · July 19, 2012

A nosotros esta obra nos deja sin palabras... y a ustedes? http://t.co/msdE31cM

trey · July 13, 2012

looks like this house is inspired by masonic symbols

Bruno Brolezzi · May 23, 2012

Impacto - Classic: Cordoba House / Emilio Ambasz - http://t.co/aRgHB76c

Ashley Evans · May 07, 2012

This week&#39s &#39Design we love&#39 Cordoba House in Seville Spain, http://t.co/iZywXhJu Cordoba House http://t.co/s4T2okT7

ISIS Group Australia · May 07, 2012

This week&#39s &#39Design we love&#39 Cordoba House in Seville Spain, http://t.co/iZywXhJu Cordoba House http://t.co/s4T2okT7

Álvaro Gómez Clavero · April 27, 2012

Árabe, andaluz y contemporaneo. http://t.co/QUeoi8xC

Alexandre Tourre · April 24, 2012

Cordoba House / Emilio Ambasz
http://t.co/WkYBwXJb via @archdaily

minoru · April 21, 2012

????????????????????????????????????????| Classic: Cordoba House / Emilio Ambasz | http://t.co/0b6Fkxij #??

Stephen Bolling · April 20, 2012

Giant sheltering walls define Cordoba House. http://t.co/MsdTEdX4

Yohan Redoff · April 20, 2012

Classic: Cordoba House / Emilio Ambasz | ArchDaily http://t.co/NAMPXMxC via @archdaily

???? · April 20, 2012

??????????????? : Classic: Cordoba House / Emilio Ambasz | ArchDaily http://t.co/04TX0MXw @archdaily????

CordobArquitectos · April 17, 2012

Classic: Cordoba House / Emilio Ambasz http://t.co/A28gYUcX vía @archdaily #Arquitectura

tsienni · April 16, 2012

An @ArchDaily article on Casa de Retiro Espiritual http://t.co/KW08jcwC got location wrong. I believe it should be here http://t.co/2O3LigbS

Tom Peeters · April 13, 2012

one of my all-time favorites

David Stancu · April 12, 2012

Classic: Cordoba House / Emilio Ambasz | ArchDaily http://t.co/Lips4MLN via @archdaily

MyZlo · April 12, 2012

Classic: Cordoba House / Emilio Ambasz | ArchDaily http://t.co/JrNfeRLU via @archdaily

A.O · April 12, 2012

Cordoba House / Emilio Ambasz http://t.co/GBU0WJo6

Nicholas Patten · April 12, 2012

Cordoba House. http://t.co/TWodDa2l

Karissa Rosenfield · April 12, 2012

Classic: Cordoba House / Emilio Ambasz http://t.co/TJbRPNJH via @archdaily

Mohamed Y. Maarouf · April 12, 2012

#Classics : Cordoba House / Emilio Ambasz | ArchDaily http://t.co/ZovoYvrk vía @archdaily

Francesco Piffari · April 12, 2012

Classic: Cordoba House / Emilio Ambasz | ArchDaily http://t.co/1ns9Z2Co via @archdaily

osman ghaffar · April 12, 2012

Classic: Cordoba House / Emilio Ambasz | ArchDaily http://t.co/XId98dF9 vía @archdaily

eva morell · April 12, 2012

guau y más guau http://t.co/wcvOVReB

metin aygün · April 12, 2012

Classic: Cordoba House / Emilio Ambasz | ArchDaily http://t.co/8Xau6dwA via @archdaily

hannah $oebby · April 12, 2012

life goal: make a movie set entirely at this house http://t.co/U9N45DXB

Marcos Aquino · April 12, 2012

Classic: Cordoba House / Emilio Ambasz | ArchDaily http://t.co/qafdaS55 vía @archdaily

pangerancinta · April 12, 2012

Classic: Cordoba House / Emilio Ambasz | ArchDaily http://t.co/ra43fX0f via @archdaily

lder · April 11, 2012

The location is not Cordoba. This house is sited near Sevilla, around 30 km from the city. Beauty work, but egocentric and disrespectful with the surrounding nature. These two big walls are visible from many kilometers away, like visual polution in this natural paradise. Beautyful but egocentric.

ale gaddor · April 14, 2012 07:40 PM

egocentric like a human being,,, this is art-architecture. nice piece of art.

Ryan Galliford · April 11, 2012

beautiful place. id like to have a few interior shots though.

desa: why do you feel it is pointless?

Sam · April 11, 2012

I always loved this one, it reminds me of Jodorowsky's films.

desa · April 11, 2012 05:12 PM

Such a pointless but beautiful wall!

···

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© Michele Alassio

经典:Cordoba住宅 / Emilio Ambasz