Sierra House by Steyn Studio

As the name alludes, this house adopted its nickname from its distinct roof profile. ‘Sierra’ meaning both ‘saw’ and ‘mountain range’ in Spanish. A fortunate coincidence as the house is located between Madrid’s north-westerly neighbourhoods of Mirasierra (look at mountain) and Montecarmelo (Mount Carmel).

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Description by Steyn Studio

The shape of the roof is a result of internal spatial requirements. Due to height restrictions, the roof slopes could not peak in the middle. As it coincides with a bathroom below, we decided to invert the peak and use the space to hide the machinery and solar panels.

Local planning rules are very prescriptive in terms of how much can be built, which has resulted in similar townhouse typologies in the immediate neighbourhood, with some minor material variances. This challenge, and the narrow 6,5m wide site were taken onboard. Most was made to increase the perceived internal scale of the house by maximising ceiling heights where most appreciated and extending the depth of the plan along the linear nature of the site by means of avoiding solid traversal features. Zones are defined with level changes, height changes and screens. The upper bedroom volumes are conceived as a house within a house, which in turn also contributed to the house’s distinct roof shape and its formal definitions overall. These features sets this individual house apart in the neighbouring developer driven properties.

As a townhouse it claims its own space between exposed boarded concrete feature walls, cradling a monolithic ‘carved’ travertine block. These two contrasting yet complementary materials references some of the materials already nearby, and is also representative of is locality on the edge of Madrid where the urban city (concrete jungle) meets nature (mountains and stone).

The interior of the house takes it cues from the outside with a limited, balanced, neutral and warm palette.

Photography by Imagen Subliminal

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- by Matt Watts