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Magic in 40 square meters: this is the cabin that an architect has built in an abandoned meadow

2024-02-21T05:04:24.863Z

Highlights: Madrid studio Extrarradio has designed a refuge in the Sierra de Gredos inspired by traditional Castilian constructions in a sustainable and contemporary key. San Miguel de Corneja is a small town in Ávila with barely 40 inhabitants that perfectly exemplifies the so-called emptied Spain. Prado Toro is a natural area of ​​10,000 m2 surrounded by a stream that was once used for cow grazing and which until now was abandoned. “You leave the car and forget about the hustle and bustle and stress of the city,” says the architect.


The Madrid studio Extrarradio has designed a refuge in the Sierra de Gredos inspired by traditional Castilian constructions in a sustainable and contemporary key.


San Miguel de Corneja is a small town in Ávila with barely 40 inhabitants that perfectly exemplifies the so-called emptied Spain.

Located less than two hours from Madrid, in the foothills of the Sierra de Gredos, it is a municipality of medieval origin and agricultural dedication that has its own architectural identity based on houses built with thick granite walls, low wooden ceilings, tile roofs and practically non-existent windows to combat the cold of winter.

This construction typology is framed in a landscape of grasslands, riverside vegetation, oak bushes and fenced meadows.

One of the latter is Prado Toro, a natural area of ​​10,000 m2 surrounded by a stream that was once used for cow grazing and which until now was abandoned.

This blank canvas was presented, as a family legacy, to the architect Antonio Antequera, of Extrarradio Estudio, to design a small construction where he could spend the weekends.

“You leave the car and forget about the hustle and bustle and stress of the city.

You take a short walk and you are already in the countryside,” the architect explains to ICON Design.

The interior of the cabin is based on a single open space that allows visual and spatial continuity.

In this way, the idea of ​​an agricultural shelter is reinforced where a large roof with pine wood beams protects the complex.Asier Rúa

The project triggered an exhaustive process of typological and cultural learning for Antequera, which has left behind learned “architectural vices” and has composed, thanks to family stories, its own imaginary about life in the town.

The result of this journey of connection with its origins is a cabin for residential use that pays tribute to Castilian vernacular architecture, offering a renewed look at the building typology of the Sierra de Gredos.

The cabin has windows on all 4 facades, which guarantees proper ventilation and lighting.

One of them gives access to an outdoor terrace paved with Ávlia granite.Asier Rúa

The cabin sits in the center of the plot, surrounded by vegetation and about 100 meters away from the road.

When approaching the building, its exterior appearance draws attention.

Far from modern conventions, the image presented to us has to do with belonging and being rooted in the place, with an envelope that has been able to identify its climatic and aesthetic context.

The exterior image of the cabin in Prado Toro represents a dreamy existing agricultural construction to which a shell of tiles has been added as an extension.

Asier Rua

It is a white parallelepiped of small dimensions – the maximum permitted by urban planning regulations – and a gable roof reminiscent of old agricultural buildings used to store tools and hay.

Each of the elements of the cabin in Prado Toro has been carefully selected by Antequera.

“From the beginning I was clear that I wanted to design a project that drew on tradition in the use of materials,” says the architect.

In this case, the roof is materialized with tiles that are inverted forming a perimeter in the upper part of the façade to protect it from wind and humidity;

following a common technique in constructions in the area.

In turn, the lower façade is covered with Tirolesa, a local on-site application procedure that mixes cement mortar and china to eliminate possible irregularities, providing homogeneity to the whole.

All of this is framed by a granite pavement from Ávila that, forming a semicircle, delimits an ideal outdoor space on summer nights.

The interior of the cabin stands out for its spatial continuity and the presence of distant views of the countryside.

Asier Rua

The interior of the project radically changes the perception generated by the exterior.

A surprise effect that offers a renewed look at tradition, incorporating contemporary domestic elements.

“We wanted the cabin to move away from the typical dark and self-contained Castilian inn,”

Antequera account

.

This dichotomy translates into an open-plan interior, free of partitions, which promotes – through windows in all corners – distant views to emphasize the presence of the countryside.

Notes of red are also incorporated into the furniture, as a counterpoint to the neutral tones present in the flooring and in the pine wood beams that make up the ceiling.

“In the interior we have incorporated color since it is something recurring in my projects but without forgetting the elements that the image of a cabin is supposed to have,” explains the architect.

The bedroom is located in a loft built using a light pine wood structure.

The interior distribution of the house is divided into two levels.

In some way this arrangement is reminiscent of the town houses of the early 20th century, where the lower floor was used for animals, so that they would provide heat to the bedroom located on the upper floor.

The Prado Toro cabin has a 40m2 ground floor that includes a living room with an open kitchen, a bathroom and a central fireplace.

At this level a loft is added to house the bedroom.

This annex is materialized by a light pine wood structure and is connected with a metal staircase.

This reinforces the concept of contrast between the interior;

light and contemporary and the exterior;

massive and traditional.

The cabin has an outdoor area protected by a textile pergola.

Asier Rua

Finally, we must highlight the cabin's air conditioning and cooling system, based solely on the presence of the aforementioned fireplace and the benefits of passive architecture.

The good design of the envelope allows the home to be inhabited all months of the year without the need for external energy input.

In winter, the inertia of the land itself – the cabin is semi-buried – provides a stable temperature that, together with the 10cm of insulation on the façade, means that the energy exchange with the outside is minimal.

In summer, the good orientation of the construction along with cross ventilation keeps the interior cool.

The interior distribution of the house is divided into two levels: the lower one includes the public area and the upper loft houses the bedroom.

All these elements make up the new imaginary of Prado Toro, a cabin built with local materials and techniques that reclaims life in the countryside.

A breath of fresh air compared to the crowded cities that opens architectural paths in the so-called new rurality.

Source: elparis

All news articles on 2024-02-21

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