LocationCastilleja de la Cuesta, Spain
Other ParticipantsDaniel Yusty, Pedro Lobato, Víctor Silveira, Sharifa Haidari, Manvir Hansra, Anna Thomaidou, Julián Calvo, Simona Lupo
Text description provided by the architects. We have designed the extension for a single family house, which is settled in an urban fabric that has been consolidated since long ago. The existing atmosphere of the neighbourhood -facades, colors, materials, trees- is legally protected by urban regulations. The design also faces the wishes of the client to take the maximum profit from the spare square meters, always within a low budget and some reasonable programmatic requirements. There are also some specific urban regulations on regard to the new volumes and its aesthetics that we have to deal with, along with the inherent technological restrictions of a small construction company from Southern Spain. All these issues come together to build up a way of working, a way we feel comfortable with, which we use to call “Critical Pragmatism”
Through this approach we build a project of the tangible matter, a project that regards all contingencies as new possibilities and potentialities, and never as an abdication. We then combine all contingencies into one which is the construction itself.
Our proposal respects the personality and context of the existing building by either changing nothing (we avoid modifying its original structure and external aesthetics) or changing everything (adopting a completely different language for the design of the extension). Through the reverberation of curves we also gain visual coherence, some coherence that works for us in the design process, but also for the client in the understanding of the project. To simply put it, the curves help to indicate the new elements and spaces added.
The result is a project slowly developed and slowly built. Too slowy probably, and we are perfectly aware of the fact that this is some kind of luxury nowadays. This methodology of work, within the current economical situation of the profession, heads unavoidably towards extinction.