Architecture

Madrid apartment stays cool without air-conditioning

Madrid apartment stays cool wi...
The recently-completed Madrid apartment has a total floorspace of 46 sq m (495 sq ft)
The recently-completed Madrid apartment has a total floorspace of 46 sq m (495 sq ft)
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The apartment features a small indoor garden 
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The apartment features a small indoor garden 
Another shot of the apartment's small indoor garden
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Another shot of the apartment's small indoor garden
The apartment's indoor garden is irrigated by greywater recycled from the shower
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The apartment's indoor garden is irrigated by greywater recycled from the shower
The apartment's interior has been re-arranged to maximize natural ventilation
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The apartment's interior has been re-arranged to maximize natural ventilation
The apartment features a "sleeping pod" as well as a main bedroom
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The apartment features a "sleeping pod" as well as a main bedroom
The sleeping pod, shown with the cover pulled down to serve as a projection screen
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The sleeping pod, shown with the cover pulled down to serve as a projection screen
A number of removable small cotton cushions have been set on the floor for the bulldog to lie on
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A number of removable small cotton cushions have been set on the floor for the bulldog to lie on
The bathroom
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The bathroom
The new spaces have been created with plywood
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The new spaces have been created with plywood
The recently-completed Madrid apartment has a total floorspace of 46 sq m (495 sq ft)
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The recently-completed Madrid apartment has a total floorspace of 46 sq m (495 sq ft)
The sleeping pod, shown with the cover pulled down to serve as a projection screen
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The sleeping pod, shown with the cover pulled down to serve as a projection screen
The apartment is located in Madrid 
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The apartment is located in Madrid 
Architectural plan of the apartment
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Architectural plan of the apartment
Architectural plan of the apartment
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Architectural plan of the apartment
Architectural plan of the apartment
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Architectural plan of the apartment
Architectural plan of the greywater recycling system
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Architectural plan of the greywater recycling system
View gallery - 16 images

Spain's Husos Architects was commissioned by a doctor to renovate his Madrid apartment that he shares with his heat-sensitive bulldog. In response, the firm created a new layout that promotes ventilation and, it says, keeps the home comfortable year-round without air-conditioning. The project also added some neat features like a "sleeping capsule" and greywater recycling.

The apartment's interior measures 46 sq m (495 sq ft) and its layout has been carefully arranged to maximize the ventilation inside with operable windows. The center of the home is taken up by an open living area, a kitchen and a dining area, with the bathroom off to one side.

A good chunk of the available floorspace is taken up by a new wood-lined area that hosts a dressing-room, store room, and the main bedroom, as well as the sleeping capsule and shelving.

A number of removable small cotton cushions have been set on the floor for the bulldog to lie on
A number of removable small cotton cushions have been set on the floor for the bulldog to lie on

"Since Jaime's work hours are very variable, he catches up on sleep after night shifts by taking long naps during the day," explains Husos Architects. "Therefore, instead of focusing on the bedroom as the only place to rest, we created a capsule-periscope for taking siestas in the living room as an alternative to the bedroom."

The sleeping capsule also serves as a place to hang out and its door can be closed to create a projection screen for watching movies. The "periscope" is an arrangement of mirrors that lets the owner lie back and see the view of the tree-lined street outside behind him.

The apartment features a small indoor garden 
The apartment features a small indoor garden 

Elsewhere in the home is a small indoor garden, which the firm says also helps to maintain a cool interior temperature. The garden is irrigated by greywater.

"One important aspect of the apartment's passive cooling design is a vertical edible garden on the west-facing balcony," says Husos Architects. "The vegetation helps prevent the home from overheating in summer and generally functions as a thermal cushion, cooling the interior and avoiding the use of air conditioning.

"Madrid and its surrounding area suffer from a serious lack of water, which is progressively worsening as temperatures rise, so with the help of agronomists and programmers, we designed a system to recycle greywater from the shower to irrigate tomatoes, herbs and other plants in the vegetable garden."

Source: Husos Architects

View gallery - 16 images
3 comments
haydentech
So there are windows for ventilation, and some houseplants, and...? Talk about an overblown article title.
Nik
46 sq m, thats approximately 6 m x 7,5 m a little smaller than my lounge... Oh the joys of city dwelling, that I left years ago when I moved to the country. Just think, if the owner did the same, he could have all the benefits he's just paid an Architect to design for him, without the cost, and a lot more room besides. There are whole villages in Spain that are totally derelict, and could be bought for the price of a tiny apartment in Madrid, and probably for the price of an Architects plans.
JerryDobson
No mention of how this design deals with the humidex.