This is a project for a small family in a venerable SoHo building. The need for a series of small private rooms combined with the constraints imposed by the existing building led us to propose a double-loaded corridor as the basic plan diagram. This solution makes the most of available daylight, and proves effective in allowing for the most spacious of public and family gathering areas to the east.
The introduction of curves in the plan arrangement of the walls seems at first willful, but it must also be admitted that the programmatic needs of the spaces either side of the corridor pushed and pulled at their respective lines of enclosure, vying for their share of the space available. In this way a straightforward plan diagram is not just enlivened with curves and colors, but also worked into something elegant and efficient for the accommodation of the needs of the family, and an attenuated approach to the main open areas of the loft is infused with mystery and meaning.
For this site facing the monastery of El Escorial we designed a compact family country house, respectful of its wooded surroundings. The steep slope of the terrain conditioned the architecture and design of our project.
The plan is built on a nine square grid with a glazed interior courtyard. The lower floor is stepped, following the natural grade of the terrain. As a result, each space has an easy and direct relationship with the surrounding landscape, and the terraces to the north and south are natural extensions of the house towards the garden.
From both inside and out, the roof plane is perceived as a continuous, modulated surface whose inclination follows that of the land. Upon a simple plane a rotated square was inscribed, marking lines about which the roof was then folded. The resultant prismatic geometry is clear and direct. The house appears compact from the outside, yet spacious and lofty from within, with interior views passing through the courtyard and across fine carpentry details where hanging stairs integrate with interior woodwork, creating screens shelves and handrails.
The volume of the house cantilevers over its foundations towards the east, forming a large porch among the pines. The cantilever embodies the idea of the house: that while it is well nested in the landscape it is also oriented towards the monastery. The lightness that is provided by the cantilever helps emphasise the aspiration that characterizes this relationship.
San Lorenzo del Escorial, Madrid, Spain
Belén Moneo, Jeffrey Brock
Íñigo Cobeta, David Gosh, Silvia Fernández, Andrés Barrón, Spencer Leaf, Brenda Moczygemba, Carlos Revuelta, Jose Galarza
Apartec, Francisco González
The project proposes the recovery of an essential public space for Sencelles, Plaza de la Villa , which is currently a place colonized by cars and where the protected architectural elements do not get the attention they deserve because they conflict with the priority vehicular use of the square. Consequently, it is an action on an area that offers a great opportunity to recover a space of universal accessibility. In short, it is a square for everyone that keeps alive what was the history of the town and allows the coexistence of all social groups.
The new design of the square unifies the pavement with the sidewalks, widening the square, erasing the existing boundaries and architectural barriers, which together with the proposed traffic detour will allow the creation of a more fluid public space with greater flexibility for its different uses: from rest and the weekly Saturday market to traditional festivities.
It will therefore become an enclosure in which, guided by the new pavement and a series of pergolas with benches protected by shade and vegetation, will act as outdoor living rooms, allowing the gathering of different groups and ages in each of the spaces generated by the pergolas.
A fundamental aspect of the proposal lies in the universal accessibility to the square. The slight slope, along with a series of strategically placed ramps and a parking lot for the disabled in an ideal place in the square, promote total accessibility for anyone seeking to enjoy this new public space returned to the municipality.
Although the final consolidation of the square as a continuous space is pursued through its pavements, the vegetation and the pergolas act as a filter, not only providing shade but also generating the possibility of carrying out different activities at the same time. The green spaces are reinforced to create, through the vegetation, color, textures and also freshness and microclimates.
The vegetation of the parterres next to the pergolas becomes one of the main elements in the proposal. Through a set of species, which include a small tree grove along with upholstery and climbing plants, a new visual and sensory space is generated in the center of the square. The main idea is that the vegetation can provide color as well as texture in the diversity of greenery, as well as in the flowering of the different species proposed. As it is a public space that aims to host events of different kinds, it has been considered at all times that the species are resistant and easy to maintain.
The existing trees will cover this new vegetation. The project proposes to maintain and protect the existing vegetation, which is considered part of the square's character. An item is allocated in the cost estimate provided for the protection of these large and important trees during the construction process.
Ayuntamiento de Sencelles
Sencelles, Mallorca, Spain
5009,8 ft ²
Belén Moneo, Jeff Brock
Federico Pérez, Francisco Blázquez
This sustainable proposal seeks to preserve and revitalize the ecosystem of the River Tajo, recuperating this natural area for the enjoyment of all citizens of Talavera pointing out the possibility this Tajo Natural Park, beginning in Talavera, can grow, adding territories and cities in such a way that, in a few years, we could follow the river from the Guadarrama mountain to its mouth in Lisbon.
The project is understood as a series of interventions, all consisting with this promising idea. The River’s protagonism in the Talavera de la Reina cityscape will be reasserted. It will be made accessible for the enjoyment of all citizens through a series of interventions and activities that bring the natural landscape of the river closer to the city. Finally, this park could become a tourist attraction for Talavera at a national level, as a supra-municipal infrastructure, with economic and social opportunities for the whole city.
The proposed solutions and objectives include sustainable measures to improve water quality, recover the habitats and species of this section of the Tajo River, improve the landscape and enable an increase in the use of the river and its banks in forms commensurate with the conservation of its biodiversity and its landscape. Opening the project to citizen participation should furthermore serve to achieve greater knowledge of the river’s history and evolution.
It is intended that the river be for "all" in the broadest sense; allowing the growth of the vegetation and the complex of habitats specific to the place, sheltering numerous autochthonous species of flora and fauna, improving and recovering the enormously attractive scenic landscapes of the river and its fertile plain, and allowing access by the citizens of and visitors to Talavera to the shores and islands for their use and enjoyment. In short, it is about achieving a Natural and Human River Landscape Park.
Confederación hidrográfica del Tajo y Ayuntamiento de Talavera de la Reina
Talavera de la Reina
MONEO BROCK, BLASCO ESPARZA, EIN
Irene Alberdi, Mathilde Noirot