LocationRobledo de Chavela, Spain
Project Area260.0 m2
Text description provided by the architects. Two people have completely built the house over four years. This unique approach begins with the acquisition of an old house, built on a rocky terrain with a steep slope, large trees, south orientation, and magnificent views of the mountains.
We begin with the restoration of the house and the area around it on the site, by means of conventional construction and a fundamental premise: the complete reuse of everything on the site. Thus, using the existing large amount of stone on the site, we erected walls and paved some areas, forming flat surfaces, filled with debris from the works on the house, extending the house into the environment.
Old locks were reused in the new project, and we recovered all wood waste for the new heating system consisting of a wood stove. All material resulting from excavations was used for fillings. The work does not leave a single residue, only small amounts of fully recyclable material taken to treatment plants, such as copper or old faucets.
Once the old house was renovated, we moved there to start the construction of the new dwelling that cantilevers over it forming a large porch around it. This time, the development of elevated construction works with fully manual means, required a dry construction, lightweight and modular, which could extend for a long time without relying on inclement weather, typical of the mountains of Madrid. In addition, throughout this time the construction process marks the rhythm of the economic possibilities of buying material, dividing spending evenly throughout the work.
The exterior of the new house, floor, facade and roof are clad outside in galvanized steel. Inside, wood-based panels will be separated by a thick layer of Rockwool. The structure, made of steel profiles, is modulated to be both structure and framing for cladding. The openings in the facade, protagonist on the south facade of the house, are made of glass in the fixed areas, and a structure similar to that of the facades in the operable areas. They all have operable galvanized steel perforated plates for solar protection.
The design of the building facilities is minimized, as these originate at the connection points provided in the old house. The toilets are connected to a separate circuit to be supplied with reclaimed water from the rains, and the heating system of radiators is supplied exclusively by wood. As a result, we minimize the maintenance of the new construction, as well as the energy cost to maintain comfort conditions.
After the metal structure and the floor platform of the new house were finished, calculated to support elements up to 160 kg which can be moved and positioned by means of pulleys and levers, we begin with a reverse process in which the house is constructed from the outside inwards, first placing the outer plates and glass, then placing layers inward. At this stage no waste is generated because everything is brought measured and cut from each of the different suppliers.
When the volume of the house is closed, we install a workshop inside, where the rest of the elements necessary to finish the house are developed and manufactured. We manufacture everything, the woodwork, their means of opening and closing, protections for openings, railings, stairs, doors, furniture, countertops.
Gradually the workshop is becoming our home.