Casa Mym by José Angel Rodríguez

Casa Mym is a lovely single-story brick house located in Murcia, Spain, designed in 2021 by José Angel Rodríguez.

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We received a very special assignment: “Let’s leave the city”.

Through its materiality, MYM House displays its relationship with the environment, exposing the importance of the parts in relation to the whole.

We built MYM house with simple things; local materials, creativity, innovation, beauty, love, and memories. Drawn by the environment which shapes and measures us.

MYM is a house in the orchard of Murcia, south-eastern Spain. A picturesque, complex, and diverse landscape, where traditional houses, winding roads, irrigation ditches, and smallholder agricultural activity are mixed with new constructions. The orchard environment is full of versatile building materials. Like the typical self-built houses in the area, we also used these elements to build MYM House. We found inspiration in the costumbrista style developing our own architectural language. We worked with a contemporary code that values the spontaneity, the richness of the materials, and the identity of the place. This house is made of ceramic pieces, plates, reeds, and wood.

MYM house sits on an extended plot with a façade of 15 meters and a depth of 43 meters. With access from the North, the house can be reached by snaking through the orchards of Murcia.

We found a fence made with ceramic tiles, cement, and galvanized mini-wave sheet metal and hurdles. On one side of the facade, we open the door and follow a footpath of ceramic blocks that continues to the pool before we take one of the two crossing steps to access the house.

Each area of the house is divided into three separate square structures. Three ‘boxes’ that create a fragmented house united by the environment. Broken down into three volumes, one after another, it seems that they all want to look towards the back of the plot in search of the views of the nearby mountains and orchards. The house moves on its axis looking for this sight. “From my room, you can see the moon”.

Once inside, the largest box is dedicated to the daily activity in the house, living room, and an open kitchen with views of the orchards, and the mountains as a backdrop. In the middle of the plot, the second box contains two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a laundry room. The first of the volumes, the one closest to the entrance, accommodates a third bedroom, a bathroom, and a storage room. Surrounding the house and crossing it: are ceramic steps, an orchard, and a garden with trees that will provide shade for the inhabitants of the house.

Everything is built from scratch, which is complex but precise, without polished finishes so everything feels one. We constructed thermoclay load-bearing walls that can be seen from the outside and sometimes also from the inside, with concrete and also clay floors and with enameled ceramic tile cladding, we are inspired by folklore, popular, and culture. The patterns drawn with the tiles refer to the patterns used to make the embroidery for the traditional horticulturist workwear, each tile representing a theme.

The large sliding doors are made of pine, the hinged ones are in lacquered MDF, and those for the bathrooms and the laundry room are made of galvanized sheet metal with a large peephole closed with printed glass. In the living room, the storage spaces are closed with sliding doors made of galvanized mini-wave sheet metal, covering the entire wall, so that when they are shut, they function as cladding. We have used this material for the indoors and the outdoors. In front of the windows, ceramic latticework guards and protects from the sun in the areas in which protection is needed.

We interact with the environment we inhabit, and it transforms us too. This highlights the project’s commitment to the place and the happiness of the people that inhabit it. The house not only enjoys the site, but it also participates in the creation of a new reality. “Every day I swim in the pool”.

Photography courtesy of José Angel Rodríguez

- by Matt Watts