Despite their opposite location in the urban center of Cortelazor la Real (province of Huelva, Spain), these two majadas -fold or stone sheds for a farming porpurse- where the two houses are planned, share similar edge conditions. We depart from two rural structures that have fallen into decay, if not in a state of ruin. The sheds share a difficult pentagonal geometry, due to the many changes and alterations of the land property through out generations.
They share, as well, the need for a reasonable domestic program that calls for the optimization of a very constrained space. In both cases we opt for the same strategy, solving the project with close resources. The proximity to the edge is behind every relevant step in the decission making process. Starting with the very layout of the houses, achieved with the concentration of subsidiary uses (toilets, heating, services, storing…) along the perimeter. This enables us to free as much open centered space as possible for the living rooms. We not only concentrate on facades and dividing walls kitchens and bathrooms, also the stairs, which in the case of the house in Rosa St. serves as well as a functional hinge of the house. This allows us liberate a clear domestic centrality that is used as living and dining room in the lower level and as a bedroom and studio in the upper level.
This layout facilitates the complete visual understanding of the house from the very doorstep. A relation of continuity is stablished, one that does not restrict to the interior rooms, but expands outside through the wide windows that look deep into the valleys. Valley and hill, embraced in the domestic warmth, lend their inmensity to the bosom of the home. Or let’s say it in the poetry of Jules Supervielle: «Everything that the forests, rivers or the air do / Fits amongst the walls that believe to enclose the room».
The area of intervention is subject to measures of urban landscape protection, due to its declaration as an ensemble of historical interest. This translates into a number of requirements referred to the aesthetics, materials and composition of the facade. In general terms, we share the sensibility that inspired the legislation against the many architectural abuses commited in these towns, so rich in examples of vernacular buildings. A compendium too often mistreated with acritical implants of alien architectural codes. Those interventions failed to find the vast common ground shared by popular and modern means. Our projects wish to stand on this ground. We believe in architectural integration as a inescapable compromise, in which it is possible to balance the strict abidance of the legislation and the understanding of the traditional code on a contemporary key.