Refurbishment for Alejandro and Inma by Pablo Muñoz Payá Arquitectos
With the intense Mediterranean light and surrounded by olive trees, it is not a surprise if a family chose to move to the countryside. This project sought to satisfy their wishes, while respecting the essence of mediterranean architecture.
Due to regulatory requirements, it was only possible to renovate the existing house without extending its surface area. Without modifying its perimeter, the thick opaque walls are opened up, giving a new sensation of spaciousness and lightness. The existing roof is extended over the old storage room, preserving the ceramic gable roof. This creates a new luminous space, heighter than the old house interior. The living room, dining room and kitchen are located in a common space. A large window take advantage of the north orientation that protects it from direct sunlight.
In addition, in contrast to the old low ceilings of the house, the project reduces the living room area by three steps, gaining more height in this area. A way of reorganising the space and clearing the views from the dining table or the kitchen. On the ceiling, the new roof allows the old false ceiling to be extended with a new sound-absorbing wooden paneling. A triangular faceting geometrises this new opening and it grows exponentially up to the top of the roof. This not only doubles the entry of natural light, but also gives it a modern and sophisticated look.
The natural oak wood gives all the warmth to the refurbishment, combined with the golden glow of the Mediterranean light. The same oak is used in the kitchen, thus unifying the tones of this central space of the house, but adapting it to its different uses.
In front of the cosy lowering of the living room, a swimming pool emerges in height, overflowing like a fountain from which water never stops gushing. The path towards the pool is accompanied by elegant platforms that rise up to a curtain of water, a key element to give serenity to the garden with its sound. Around the pool, the deteriorated rural constructions that used to serve the old house have been rescued. These small buildings are articulated by the new porch, a structure of solid wooden slats that gathers visitors from the entrance to the plot. This new structure takes them along the passage generated by these constructions, until they reach the large window of the living room.
Natural materials such as wood and dry stone – laid with the traditional technique of masonry in some parts of the façade and over the swimming pool – allow the house to harmonise with its surroundings. A way of recovering traditional architecture, making life more comfortable and luminous.
Photography by David Zarzoso