This is a project to refurbish a small, 46 square metre apartment for Jaime, an ER doctor, and Albóndiga, his bulldog. Although the original apartment had a double east-west orientation, most of the cross-ventilation was blocked by several interior walls, which meant that the distribution did not adequately respond to Madrid’s high temperatures in summer. This was a key aspect to consider in the new design, for both Jaime and Albóndiga. As bulldogs are a delicate breed, they are especially sensitive to heat. This was why the interior was redistributed to create a kitchen-living-dining room that is open to the east as well as the west, allowing the air to circulate. One important aspect of the apartment’s passive cooling design is a vertical edible garden on the west-facing balcony. The vegetation helps prevent the home from overheating in summer and generally functions as a thermal cushion, cooling the interior and avoiding the use of air conditioning. Madrid and its surrounding area suffer from a serious lack of water, which is progressively worsening as temperatures rise, so with the help of agronomists and programmers, we designed a system to recycle grey water from the shower to irrigate tomatoes, herbs and other plants in the vegetable garden. It is worth bearing in mind that over the course of this century, 80% of Spain will be at risk of desertification, and large Spanish cities put enormous pressure on regional water sources.
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