A traditional country house endowed with a contemporary indoor patio by Arquitectura-g.
The catalan studio Arquitectura-g has renovated this house located in Cilleros (Cáceres, Spain). The original building was a traditional country house between party walls, with an elongated floor plan and a narrow centerline, facing a garden at the rear. Time and abandonment took the building to a complete state of dilapidation.
The owner wanted a house full of light, that would benefit from the open air and the back garden. The center of the house didn’t have any light nor ventilation, making it less habitable. This constraints, added to a low budget, took the project to a very simple strategy. Arquitectura-g decided to keep the stone facade and the mud walls but they completely emptied and restored the interior organising it around a new central patio.
The new indoors patio is dominated by a birch tree. Surrounding and facing both of them, four staggered frameworks were built in different levels, each destined to a single purpose: kitchen, living room, bedroom 1 and bedroom 2.
Each bedroom has its own bathroom, completely open to the patio and with a double-access either from the room or from the hallway. Bathrooms are fitted wit classic glossy white-enameled 15x15cm tiles. Apart from providing hygienic and waterproof conditions, this white tiling also reflects the leaves of the tree and the light coming from the patio, duplicating both effects.
Architects chose a broad-leaved deciduous tree to guarantee a generous shade during the warmer seasons, while allowing sunlight in during the winter, giving light and warmth to all spaces. At the same time, it works as a visual screen among the rooms.
The metallic grid facing the patio in the upper levels enables a double interior-exterior circulation. Besides working as a corridor, it can also be used as a bench in which to sit, extending the room layout to the patio.
The project deliberately looks for contrast through the irregular textures from the ceramic tiles, stone and mud walls, the latter lime-painted. The architects have set an atmosphere in which the red from the floor tiling and an intense green from the birch and garden are the dominating colours, letting light bathing walls and floors with different shades throughout the day. Both framework and building are overwhelmingly simple.
Photo credits: © José Hevia