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© imagen subliminal


Project: House in Güemes, conversion of a stable into a house Architect: Zooco Estudio Location: Güemes, Cantabria, España Square Meters: 310 m2 Completed: 2019 Photographer: Imagen Subliminal


Located in Güemes a small town, east of Santander, in Spain, this project consisted of the renewal and expansion of an old stable, to be transformed into a seasonal home. The surviving building faithfully reflects the local, simple and modest building system, consisting of stone walls supporting a wooden-structure gable roof with tiles.

The absolute respect towards what already exists is the nature of this architectural intervention. Not only respect towards the traditional materials used but also towards the type of space created inside the house. Hence, the main spaces of the house are developed as a single unit in the grand central space comprising the former stable. The arrangement of functions is developed in a linear pattern, composed of kitchen, dining room, fireplace, living room, office, bookshelves under the same roof, defined entirely by the elements specific to each use, while always being in the same neutral and global setting. Concealed behind a bookshelf, only the master bedroom is separated from the general space. A second bedroom is accessed from the exterior stair in the original passageway at the entrance of the building, located above the main one, to achieve the height of the annexed building.

To emphasize the concept of an open floor plan, a storage feature is built into the perimeter of the space, opening up indoor area and highlighting the traditional wooden roof.The only partial modifications to the existing architecture are those made to the facades. The existing openings on the east facing and west facing facades have been enlarged, with the idea of integrating nature, and the intriguing views of the Cantabrian mountains, into the interior. The north-facing and south-facing facades are completely opened as they were in poor condition. Another prominent feature of the house is its privacy system on the south-facing facade consisting of sliding louvers, providing users complete freedom to communicate with the outdoors.

The extension building has been created from a more rational viewpoint, heir of a classically modern style. Its L-shape and its position on the site almost in contact with the existing building, but not touching it have eased the formation of an open space between the buildings. This is where the pool is located, and where the site’s finest views can be appreciated. The new space consists of accommodation for guests, a meeting room, a sauna and a transition porch area beside the pool.

About materials, the mediation has chosen the existing style. Local woods, stone from the area, white facades and tiles. Together they form the aesthetic of the unit. The concrete and the metal structure allow a contemporary counterpoint to this notable example of traditional Cantabrian architecture.