Spanish architects build compact home with ventilated facade
Spanish architectural firm Slow Studio has recently completed a compact sustainable family home in Madrid that boasts a ventilated facade. Dubbed Casa en Cerros de Madrid, which translates to House in the Hills of Madrid, the residence is built on a slim plot of land with a narrow south-facing frontage.
The 10-meter-long (32.8 ft) plot challenged the architects to create a comfortable family home for four, while also capturing as much natural daylight to meet passive house standards.
The studio came up with the idea to create a quadratic floorplan, which would allow for good natural light and airflow, while also offering total connection between the interior spaces.
“The elongated shape of the land determined the project,” said Slow Studio. “We have a narrow façade of only 10 meters in length; in addition to looking for compactness and total connection between rooms, led us to look for design options that allowed the introduction of light and solar heat into the interior.”
Working with the square floor plan, the studio adopted two distinct strategies to capture as much natural sunlight throughout the day as possible. Firstly, a side patio was created, which enabled the creation of a new south-facing façade located at the rear of the home.
Secondly, a series of operable slates in the elevated roof act as skylights and filter natural light into the central parts of the home. In addition, the slats located along the northern façade allow for cross ventilation throughout the home. The southern façade also features a large porch to protect the home from the harsh summer heat.
Casa en Cerros de Madrid is built with a counter-laminated wood structure and insulated double-brick walls to achieve optimal interior thermal inertia. The use of timber is carried throughout the interior home, offering a warm contrast against the cool concrete flooring and industrial-inspired sheet metal roofing and shutters.
The interior of the home features an open living area, large modern kitchen with adjoining dining area, two large bedrooms, two bathrooms, a dressing room and a home office. A second lounge area with open wood fire is cleverly interconnected with the master bedroom.
Separated by floor-to-ceiling timber slats, the master bedroom can open-up to the lounge area or be closed off for privacy. The clever design allows the sunlight from the bedroom to enter the lounge area, and the heat from the wood fire to warm the adjacent bedroom.
The fireplace is also connected to a thermal stove that when in use heats water for the bathrooms and interior heating. Furthermore, the home features a central interior courtyard that acts as a magnet for natural light, while also doubling as an ambient sitting room.
“The house allows a large number of interior circulations and can be understood as an open loft in which all the rooms are connected and in which it is possible to make each area independent depending on its use,” explained the studio. “The fact of having a very compact floor plan is, in itself, a key strategy to reduce energy losses through the façade. A compactness that is only interrupted by the irruption of a patio that allows us to gain sunlight in the room to the north.”
Minimal external paving or landscaping was incorporated, in order to respect the pre-existing garden and trees, while also allowing the ancient olive trees to naturally cushion the home from the heat.
Source: Slow Studio