A Building of Depth: Renovation and Expansion to Casa del Búho
Location: Urbanizacion Puerto del Almendro, P20, 29023 Benahavís (ES)
The Casa del Búho - the house of the owl - is set against the picturesque backdrop of the Andalusian landscape, on a parcel of land characterized by its varied topography. An access road leads from the southeast corner to the forecourt, which joins the main wing to the right and the side tract to the left. The sleek, white faces of the house have a uniform appearance and give no clue that the smaller volume actually represents a reconstruction.
GonzaloGA has completely reconceived the rectangular addition on the outlines of the ruins. He has worked according to the client’s wishes: living space for the family of four, a guest area, playroom and a separate apartment enabling the house to be separated into two self-contained units as needed. In the new design, the entry level remains quite restrained and is adapted to the existing structure. Only the alternating roof surfaces serve to create a contrast. In order to expand the living space, a new lower level has been dug into the ground. It is glazed from floor to ceiling and encompassed by a patio. Ornamented with tropical plants, the patio allows light and air into the space.
In the design of the floor plan, the two levels are clearly distinct. While the downstairs arrangement is free and continuous, the upper level has more conventional structures. Two catwalks that span the patio connect the main house to the two side units of Casa del Búho. All the spaces are adjacent to a corridor that runs parallel to the north façade. Moreover, they all face the garden to the south; some have balconies as well.
The connections to the lower storey form the midpoint. These areas have two levels joined by an open stairway. The lower level features a continuous space where individual zones flow into each other, as does the green exterior area. A simple material concept with bespoke fittings and vivid colour accents completes the experience of living here.