E/C House by SAMI-Arquitectos located on the volcanic island of Pico in the Azores, Portugal | The Hardt
E/C House by SAMI-Arquitectos located on the volcanic island of Pico in the Azores, Portugal. Overlooking the Atlantic, the house spans two levels and occupies the ruin of a former house. But what is particularly interesting with this specific project, is the way the architects have treated the remains of the older house: rather than ‘renovating’ the site, or incorporating the old walls in a decorative way, instead they decided to create a spatial choreography between the old and the new, and place the new house inside the old one, reminiscent of how Matryoshka dolls are placed with one another. With the old stone walls left intact, the new concrete house seems to emerge mysteriously like a spectre of the old one, a gesture that can also be read as a metaphor of regeneration and regrowth, with the whole concept brings to mind how a young tree sprouts from the roots of an old tree that has fallen. As the E/C House’s openings are not always aligned with the old doors and windows, an interesting dialogue is created between the interior, the old stone walls and the view outside. Designed mainly as a dwelling with which to rest and contemplate, the house is minimally furnished, with each space treated as a ‘deck’ that opens generously to the outside and can accommodate multiple uses.
Stone House Transformation in Scaiano by Wespi de Meuron Romeo Architects | The Hardt
Stone House Transformation in Scaiano by Wespi de Meuron Romeo architects. Situated in Caviano, Switzerland, the renovation of the 1,786 ft² (166 m²) home took place in 2014. The original substance of this historic stone house, in the core of the village of Scaiano, consists in the main building with a cellar with vault and two floors above with kitchen, living and sleeping spaces. A later added annex, also completely made in solid natural stone, contained on the ground floor a small grape brandy distillery, on the 1.floor a room with above an attic. Exterior stone stairs and some small walls in front of the main facade seems to have been created at the same time as the annex. In front of the main building, there was original – before the annex was built – a small square, the only one in the village structure.
Before the conversion, this building was inhabited for over two decades. It was protected with a provisory roof against decay, but it needed a complete renovation to be adapted to the contemporary needs of comfort. The stone walls were mainly maintained, just the joints had to be remade. The isolation is applied to the inside of the walls. All wooden beam floors were replaced with concrete floors, which reinforce the old walls additionally. On the main house, a new pitched roof in wood construction was inserted in the stone walls, meanwhile, on the annex, it was created a roof terrace with a natural stone-paved floor. The main architectural target of the intervention was to carve out the force of the massive stonewalls and to gain this archaic simplicity of the volume of the historic building. So the external stone staircase was removed to create again the small village square in front of the house, with a fountain and bench, which invites to spontaneous encounters.
The old cellar with vault becomes the new main entrance: it was divided into an unheated outdoor zone and in heated entrance zone with the wardrobe and a small room with washbasin and shower. On one side the old stonewall was cut out and a stair was integrated, to lead up to the upper floors. The old grape brandy distillery is now also connected to the cellar with vault and can be used as a cool summer outdoor loggia with a simple fireplace in raw steel.
The glass façade in front the rooms, towards the lake, has been placed with a distance of about 60 cm from the old stonewalls. This glass front protects against the outside climate and it’s like a second skin behind the effective facade. This outer zone is mainly not covered and it rains in. This concept allows, on the one hand, the authentic conservation of the historic stone façade, which tells the history of the house and on the other hand, it generates zenith light for the rooms with exceptional light reflections. It would not have been possible otherwise to get sunlight into the rooms, in such a village structure with narrow streets. The materialization of the interior is adapted to the archaic existing: natural impregnated cement floors, stone grey plaster for walls and ceilings, oiled larch wood joinery. The new intervention is not contrasting the existing substance, new and old are merging together and creating a new ensemble.
Located in S. Abbondio, Switzerland, Concrete House (2012) by Wespi de Meuron | The Hardt
Located in S. Abbondio, Switzerland, Concrete House (2012) by Wespi de Meuron. This house is standing on a steep slope in S. Abbondio , it is designed for two people and their guests. The property sits between three walls of new and existing buildings, while to the side of the descent is connected the access road and above offers a free view of Lake Maggiore and the mountains. The readable volumetry and also the naturalistic materialization of the concrete in the same color as the natural stones integrates the new building with caution in the heterogeneous area. Concrete stands as the natural stone of the modern era. The irregularly positioned windows hold the monolith and create a sculptural unit.
Spartan rooms and patios open up horizontally and vertically to the water, forests and mountains, light and sun, they live from the poetry of nature. The limitation of some basic materials like concrete and natural wood generates an interaction that flows from the interior and exterior and a natural archaic atmosphere.
Located in Cemitério de Bouro, Portugal, Santa Maria Do Bouro Convent (1997) by Eduardo Souto de Moura + Humberto Vieira | The Hardt
Located in Cemitério de Bouro, Portugal, Santa Maria Do Bouro Convent (1997) by Eduardo Souto de Moura + Humberto Vieira. This project aims to adapt, or rather, to make use of the stones available to build a new building. It is a new building, in which various voices and functions (some already registered, other still to be constructed) intervene; it is not a reconstruction of the building in its original form. For this project, the ruins are more important than the “Convent”, it is they that are open and manipulable, just as the building was during its history.
This attitude is not meant to express or represent an exceptional case justifying some original manifesto, but rather to abide by a rule of architecture, more or less unchanging throughout time. During the design process, a lucidity was sought for between the form and the program. Faced with two possible paths, we chose to reject the pure and simple consolidation of the ruin for the sake of contemplation, opting instead for the introduction of new materials, uses, forms, and functions “entre leschoses”, as Corbusier said. The “picturesque” is a question of fate, nor part of a project or program.
Located in Cholul, Mexico, Gershenson House (2012) by Roman Gonzalez Jaramillo | The Hardt
Located in Cholul, Mexico, Gershenson House (2012) by Roman Gonzalez Jaramillo. House located in Chicul, Yucatan, Mexico, with 5161 inhabitants, sits on a plot of 21,000 ft² (2,000 m²) with 2,900 ft² (270 m²) of construction. The project is for a retired couple looking for a private space but without losing contact with nature. The volumetry is generated by three main bodies, each one housing a specific part of the program: service, social and private areas of the house, these are joined by a single transversal circulation. One of the premises of the design was the reuse of materials and expose them to their natural form. All the stone extracted from the excavations was used in walls and details, the house is placed on a base of 60 cm of apparent concrete which serves as a guideline for the modulation of the areas.
The perimeter walls of the residence do not reach the slab, this is so that you never miss the visual contact with nature, even when you are inside the house or in some private space. The integration of the exterior and interior is sought through gardens, ponds and large windows that segment the residence, all this to eliminate the monotony of the inhabitant on a day-to-day basis.
M House by MDBA & Guallart Architects situated in a small village in Spain, with its ancient character very much still well intact. The relation with the landscape and the surroundings of the housing, so that this one is closed to the village, and it is opened towards the valley in the western part through large windows, capturing maximum light into the house. There are four levels which create different facades plans, generating terraces of different characters, according to the interior use of the volume
Located in Chamoson,Switzerland, Roduit House Transformation (2005) by Savioz Fabrizzi Architectes. This building was constructed in stages from 1814 onwards and was used as a rural house. It is made up of three adjacent areas on different levels. On the ground floor it is crossed by an access way which indicates the presence of a former right of way to the next-door building.
The imposing proximity of the rocks and its stone construction allows the structure to blend seamlessly into it’s surroundings. The renovation seeks to maintain and reinforce this character, by emphasizing the existing stone structure while using concrete for the parts to be replaced, in order to create a completely mineral feel to the entire project
The exterior volume has not been changed. The stone has been preserved and lined inside with an insulating layer of concrete based on foamed recycled glass (misapor). This insulating lining forms the new load-bearing structure, and reinforces the old stone walls while providing thermal insulation. The parts of the façade formerly constructed of timber weatherboarding have been replaced by a monolithic wall of insulating concrete with formwork which reproduces the former texture of the timber.
The window apertures have been retained and some larger windows added in order to let more natural light into the main interior spaces and to provide views over the surrounding landscape. These new windows are flush with the exterior in order to minimize their impact on the volume of the building, as well as to emphasize and make good use of the substantial thickness of the walls.
In harmony with the exterior, the interior is formed from unrefined mineral materials, with its natural stone, exposed concrete and polished screed floors. Only a few elements, such as the kitchen or the sanitary fittings, are in contrast to this character
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