Casa C+ in Madrid is the embodiment of an innovative approach to the division of function
Situated next to a golf course and offering excellent views of the mountains, Casa C+, in Madrid, has been designed for a former Microsoft executive. Nestled in a luxury compound and comprising an internal area of 1,300sqm, the house is intended as a home for a family of five, offering a library, home theatre, and an outdoor area for playing and sports, among other facilities.
Casa C+ is in the centre of its plot, where it is sheltered by and integrated into a grove of century-old trees. It is from nature – and trees in particular – that the architect has drawn inspiration. "While discussing the villa with the client, we all came to the conclusion that the programme had to be dynamic, like a self-generating organism that grew from within," says Alfredo Munoz, founder of Abiboo Studio. "But it also had to include several 'mini-houses' that were deeply interconnected."
As a result, the house is organised in strong and identifiable spaces, or blocks. These blocks are designed as independent elements: on the ground floor, the first block is for formal dining and living, and is also connected to the pool and the outdoor barbeque areas. The second block comprises the family's private areas, which include sitting, dining and family game activity spaces. The third is for the kitchen, while the fourth is the home theatre. Finally, the fifth block contains the library and studio area, which has views to the mountains.
"The central space is organised by the monumental staircase, which acts as a furniture or as an artwork in itself," says Munoz. "The staircase also connects to the basement where the inner pool, garage and storage areas are located. The stair is also the element that connects all the 'mini-houses' in a centrifugal manner."
This centrifugal solution enables the reinterpretation of organic architecture, a study which Munoz initiated in the firm's previous projects. This concept explores the architectural form as a result of an inductive design process, rather than a deductive one: "The result is a project that grows from within but also from the bottom up. Despite having a theoretical centre, the house maintains a complex and a non-hierarchical relationship between its parts," he says.
The relationship between the house and the site is also established through its materials. The ground floor includes solid, earthy materials, while the first floor uses lighter ones. "Having the lower part of the house connected to the earth and the higher areas with lighter materials emphasises the experience of an organic villa that grows from the site, like one of the many trees on the site," says Munoz.
The blocks at the villa are oriented to make the most of the views, and are identifiable from the outside through their materials and colours. The facades of the ground floor block, for instance, are finished in stucco with a gradient of grey from white to black. In contrast, the first floor has a light, ventilated facade of recyclable laminate wood panels in a homogeneous colour.
This is an excerpt from the “Building blocks" article from the December 2017 issue of Perspective magazine.
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