Architecture

Unusual glass house makes room for nature

Unusual glass house makes room...
The Hidden Pavilion is located in a forest northwest of Madrid, Spain
The Hidden Pavilion is located in a forest northwest of Madrid, Spain
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The Hidden Pavilion is located in a forest northwest of Madrid, Spain
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The Hidden Pavilion is located in a forest northwest of Madrid, Spain
The Hidden Pavilion is glazed but privacy shouldn't be an issue as it's surrounded by forest
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The Hidden Pavilion is glazed but privacy shouldn't be an issue as it's surrounded by forest
A section of the Hidden Pavilion cantilevers over a small waterfall
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A section of the Hidden Pavilion cantilevers over a small waterfall
The Hidden Pavilion has a total floorspace of 70 sq m (753 sq ft)
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The Hidden Pavilion has a total floorspace of 70 sq m (753 sq ft)
The Hidden Pavilion was completed in December, 2016
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The Hidden Pavilion was completed in December, 2016
The Hidden Pavilion was designed by Penelas Architects
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The Hidden Pavilion was designed by Penelas Architects
The Hidden Pavilion is surrounded by trees
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The Hidden Pavilion is surrounded by trees
A spiral staircase provides access to the Hidden Pavilion's second floor and rooftop terrace areas
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A spiral staircase provides access to the Hidden Pavilion's second floor and rooftop terrace areas
The Hidden Pavilion is topped by a rooftop terrace that sport light tubes, which bounce light into the home
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The Hidden Pavilion is topped by a rooftop terrace that sport light tubes, which bounce light into the home
A tree grows through the Hidden Pavilion's second floor veranda
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A tree grows through the Hidden Pavilion's second floor veranda
The Hidden Pavilion has a  weathered steel structure
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The Hidden Pavilion has a  weathered steel structure
The Hidden Pavilion's veranda cantilevers over a waterfall
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The Hidden Pavilion's veranda cantilevers over a waterfall
The Hidden Pavilion is located in a forest northwest of Madrid, Spain
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The Hidden Pavilion is located in a forest northwest of Madrid, Spain
The Hidden Pavilion was half built in 2010 and left unfinished until finally being completed in December, 2016
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The Hidden Pavilion was half built in 2010 and left unfinished until finally being completed in December, 2016
The Hidden Pavilion is topped by a rooftop terrace
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The Hidden Pavilion is topped by a rooftop terrace
The Hidden Pavilion has a total floorspace of 70 sq m (753 sq ft)
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The Hidden Pavilion has a total floorspace of 70 sq m (753 sq ft)
The Hidden Pavilion's kitchen and dining area
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The Hidden Pavilion's kitchen and dining area
The Hidden Pavilion has two floors
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The Hidden Pavilion has two floors
The Hidden Pavilion is located in a forest northwest of Madrid, Spain
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The Hidden Pavilion is located in a forest northwest of Madrid, Spain
The Hidden Pavilion's unusual shape is informed by the need to not disturb the existing trees on the plot, including a 200 year old holm oak tree
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The Hidden Pavilion's unusual shape is informed by the need to not disturb the existing trees on the plot, including a 200 year old holm oak tree
The Hidden Pavilion's spiral staircase
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The Hidden Pavilion's spiral staircase
The Hidden Pavilion's ground floor includes its sole bedroom and bathroom
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The Hidden Pavilion's ground floor includes its sole bedroom and bathroom
The Hidden Pavilion is topped by a rooftop terrace that sport light tubes, which bounce light into the home
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The Hidden Pavilion is topped by a rooftop terrace that sport light tubes, which bounce light into the home
View toward the Hidden Pavilion's veranda
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View toward the Hidden Pavilion's veranda
View toward the Hidden Pavilion's veranda
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View toward the Hidden Pavilion's veranda
The Hidden Pavilion's kitchen and dining area
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The Hidden Pavilion's kitchen and dining area
The Hidden Pavilion's kitchen
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The Hidden Pavilion's kitchen
On the ground floor of the Hidden Pavilion
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On the ground floor of the Hidden Pavilion
Architectural drawing of the Hidden Pavilion
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Architectural drawing of the Hidden Pavilion
Architectural drawing of the Hidden Pavilion
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Architectural drawing of the Hidden Pavilion
Architectural drawing of the Hidden Pavilion
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Architectural drawing of the Hidden Pavilion

A glass house is one of those ideas that's hard to get right, often resulting in the kind of home that only an extrovert could live in. The recently-completed Hidden Pavilion offers an example of how this doesn't have to be the case, however, and besides being a practical home, has some nice little touches, such as a design intended to allow the site's existing trees to grow unimpeded.

Conceived by Penelas Architects as a quiet retreat, the Hidden Pavilion is nestled in a forest glade just northwest of Madrid, Spain. Though it appears to have no curtains or blinds, privacy shouldn't be too much of a concern thanks to its isolated location.

The surrounding forest plays a large part in this project. The second floor slopes to leave room for an existing 200 year old holm oak to continue to grow, while younger trees are also allowed to grow through gaps in its terraced areas.

The Hidden Pavilion has a total floorspace of 70 sq m (753 sq ft), spread over two floors. It includes both a second floor veranda and a rooftop terrace. The materials used primarily consist of a cherry wood interior, steel, and a lot of glass.

The Hidden Pavilion's kitchen and dining area
The Hidden Pavilion's kitchen and dining area

The Hidden Pavilion's private areas lie on the first floor and consist of a sole bedroom, bathroom and a walk-in closet. A spiral staircase leads to the second floor (and upward to the roof), which includes a kitchen and dining area. Two doors open onto a veranda that cantilevers over a small waterfall.

The home is topped by a rooftop terrace with five chimney-like light tubes atop which bounce light inside. You might assume these wouldn't be needed in a glass house in sunny Spain, but the home is well shaded by the trees.

Penelas Architects boss Dr. José Luis Esteban Penelas told us construction began on the project some time ago, but it was left half-built and work stopped in 2010. It was then finally completed in December, 2016.

Sources: Penelas Architects, Imagen Subliminal

6 comments
JimFox
Beautiful- my dream home. But my interior would be light timber such as ash. Oh my, if only...
VincentWolf
Exhibitionists would love this home. However, it's a trap for anyone in an area where crooks reside--they'll always know when no one is home.
ljaques
Upside: Pretty, for about 2 hours. Downside: shadows everywhere, cleaning "windows", sun glare, bleached-out wood/clothes/carpet/flooring/furniture fabrics/ towels, have to wear ballcap from sunup to sundown, easy to stake-out/burglarize/peep, ungodly heating/cooling bills. Yeah, glass houses are hard to get right because they're actually impossible. How about a build-to-suit custom house + a glass/screen room on a visually beautiful spot for maybe even less money? JimFox, build a 10x10x8' high structure in your yard (2x3s will work) and put clear visqueen over it. Now try to live in it for just 24 hours. I dare you. <g>
ljaques
I forgot to mention that all metal and glass and dark plastic or wood will get hot, 100-130F, in the sun with no shade.
Geoff Hacker
You'd want to trust the people who were there with you. They couldn't be in the side courtyard while you were in the bathroom. They could see exactly what you were doing in there.
Nik
Cleaning the windows, inside and out, will be like painting the Forth Bridge, a continuous process. It would probably have been worth using reflective coated glass, otherwise it will be like a greenhouse, when the sun shines, [cookhouse]! Electric opaque glass would also be worthwhile, so that privacy could be available at the flick of a switch, in areas when and where privacy is required. This building is an architects doodle, rather than a practical dwelling, and several points that should have been considered, have been overlooked. I can foresee the owners will be wanting a number of changes, once they start actually trying to live in it.