THE ROLE OF THE CONTEMPORARY HOME
Nowadays, life demands a kind of architecture that is primarily flexible, over one that is strictly functional. Household mutations is what defines the contemporary home, understood as a combination of indeterminate, ever-changing rituals. Every person’s home is the stage on which life unfolds, from the ordinary to the extraordinary; a haven, but also a space for leisure, and―why not― even a workplace.
Floating Building was designed as a container of multiple overlapping scenarios, where server elements are reduced in order to maximize the freedom and flexibility of served spaces―household scenarios―. Adaptability is at the centre of everything. In essence, the purpose of this building was to maximise the opportunities to accommodate multiple and different uses, so that its tenants live as they choose and not as the house imposes.
The building is buried in the ground just as it raises above it, so the whole ground floor becomes a multi-purpose, open-plan space: the courtyard, understood as the central area of the building. Underneath the concrete slab, an intermediate open-covered area shelters the access to the inside: the threshold. The upper floors accommodate the bedrooms and a large living area, while the basement houses a multifunctional work space which gives out to an english courtyard. This way, we managed a 250 m2 of interior spaces and 250 m2 of associated exterior spaces on a plot of land of under 230 m2
CONTEXT AND MATERIALITY
To blend in with the surroundings, traditional materials were used in the building but with a contemporary mindset. The project advocated for a rational construction where the elements constituting the spatiality of the building were displayed clearly and honestly. Thus, the red-bricked perimeter wall on which the house rests is what defines the ground floor. Over time, it will also support the growth of grapevines, ivies and jasmines which will bring changing colours and scents throughout the year. On the upper levels, brick was used as a structural material in the partition walls, while on the fronts, lack of its structural sense, it is understood as a layered façade that fits the building’s larch wood sliding windows.
From an energy standpoint, passive strategies such as thermal insulation, thermal inertia, smart orientation, solar protection and cross-ventilation of the interiors managed to minimise energy needs where possible. Likewise, active strategies based on the use of aerothermal energy and a floor heating/refreshing system allowed us to reduce energy consumption.