ArchitectsSemisótano arquitectos ( RGRM arquitectos)
LocationLa Carolina, Spain
Project ArchitectsDolores Victoria Ruiz Garrido. Juan José Ruiz Martín
Technical ArchitectAna Cámara Alarcón
PhotographyJesús Granada, Courtesy of Semisótano arquitectos
Iberus medioambiente ConsultantFrancisco J. Martín Barranco
Energy ConsultantDesiderio Rodríguez Robles
StructuresFrancisco Martínez Begara
Technical CoordinationPilar Rodríguez del Moral
CollaboratorVicente Heras Herrero
ConstructionAlberto Calzada e hijos
InsulationWeber Saint Gobain
ClientsNicolás de las Heras Ortíz + Pilar Pérez Sueza + Carmen de las Heras Pérez
OfficesLondres y La Carolina, España
Text description provided by the architects. If there was a single parameter to measure the success of a work of architecture, this should be the satisfaction of its inhabitants. Both the words ‘success’ and ‘satisfaction’ are ambiguous and subjective, and as all reductionism it raises many debates, but we must say that in this case, we are not interested. We do not consider relevant to fall upon the shape or sustainability of the intervention, in this project we highlight as the key to our success the joy of a couple of living in their house and our joy of completing the work and sharing a glass of wine with them in their kitchen.
For this reason the project is explained through a Decalogue that speaks of a process, it speaks of dreams, of expectations, of course, of laughter, of struggle, of family, of birds, of collaborations, of money, of friendship, of weather… that is, of everything that surrounds each work of architecture but realizing that the process is what enriches it and what remains, and what the photograph or the plan cannot narrate as precisely as the word.
A) Perspective 1 to understand the project – described by the architects – the Decalogue of the “Bird House”
1. The clients are now our friends.
2. We integrate, for the second time in our career, bird nests of various sizes for the improvement of the urban bird population. Birds! We want more bird sounds!
3. We obtain energy rating A. Biomass: local olive pits. Insulation: on the outside.
4. We created fun architecture, because life is the more fun, the better.
5. We make a slide, round windows and hatches in the floor, the window of Heidi and prying windows, windows that draw hot air as fireplaces.
6. We asked and were granted: colorful bulbs, river stones on the floor of the courtyard, fishes in the pool, tomatoes and zucchini, recycled doors to exit to the garden.
7. We love: the railing that comes and goes, the game of what is house and what is garden, the garden that climbs and shapes the space of the hall and library. The rear facade that looks like a Kandinsky face.
8. We long: the parties to come in the basement, the cheap black and white checkered floor, Nicolas’ straw hat to support the 40 degrees Celsius while he nails stones. The conversation with the kitchen seller. Grandma’s furniture.
9. We improvised: Adele’s concert lamps and the ones Nestor liked, the exposed brick and painted white, the concrete with voids and the pallets at the entrance.
10. What we did not like: that Nico and Pilar’s friends never paid attention to us on Facebook. Not even an old Alice in Wonderland type chair, or massive gifts of orange pots, no nothing.
B) Perspective 2 to understand the project – described by the architects – Pilar wanted a garden, Nico wanted a large area for friends.
Returning from having a beer at their home, we were doing a recount… At the end they have a Granada pavement, a pool and a kitchen overlooking that courtyard. An orchard with tomatoes, good for gazpacho, because they have a father, now grandfather, who knows about orchards.
In the living room shade in summer and sun in winter, and needle grass to the west. We love needle grass and its smell when its under the sun all afternoon! They have a Heidi window looking towards Sierra Morena instead of the Alps, a huge hatch and a slide that goes from a room to the pool.
A garden that seeps into the house, a basement floor that makes you dizzy before being drunk. A fence, very cheap: the pallets, a scandal in the neighborhood! The silo for olive pits, the insulation on the outside, the well water for the pool, the energy rating A.
And they have an orange house. We made the orange house for birds to nest on the entire roof, for the swift, for the owl, because no one remembers what owls sounds like… Do you remember? And they have the terrace to look out at the hoists from the English mines, to go topless, to set a clothesline. And they have a beautiful daughter, Carmen, who they did not have when they were only Nicolas and Pilar entering our office asking us to design their house.