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The Young Old House, Lys Villalba, Enrique Espinosa,

Outfitted anew: The Young Old House by Lys Villalba and Enrique Espinosa

The two-storey building with the flat, double-pitched roof is slightly reminiscent of a gingerbread house from a fairy tale, as the changes by Lys Villalba and Enrique Espinosa complementing the original structure of locally occurring stone, repurposed railway sleepers and wood in a friendly, sustainable and loving collage of details. Remodelling the previously uninsulated and introverted hut is organised in two stages. The first, involving insertion of three additional volumes clad in mint-coloured ceramic tiles below the roof (also renewed) has already been accomplished, resulting in an extended living, dining and kitchen area to the south, the bedroom and bathroom of the four daughters to the east and a small heating room in the west.

Insertion of a triangular steel beam braced with a tie rod and resting on side columns has made it possible to form a generously-sized opening in the south façade, where a band of windows now provides for wonderfully light-filled living quarters and a fluid transition of indoors and outdoors. A bench running the length of the window provides views onto the pasture and the surrounding Guadarrama mountains, while a hidden side door forms a physical counterpart to the connection of inner and outer space created by the windows.

The northern part of the weekend house, where the entrance, master bedroom and bathroom are located, has barely been touched, enabling the new children's room to reach all the way to below the edge of the roof in the west, where a shed once stood. Here storage space simultaneously serves as seating or as means of concealing the pull-out beds during the day. Soft pink and earthy hues are the low-key colours in this area.

In contrast, bright yellow and turquoise predominate in the living quarters, along with signal red on window shutters and doors. These colour accents are the only embellishment on the bare wood of the roof timbers and the exposed brick walls. The material concept adopted by Lys Villalba and Enrique Espinosa is not only aesthetic but also sustainable in character, involving recovery of removed old materials, whether wood or stone, for new purposes. Parts of the old roof, for example, have been used to make furniture.

In the second renovation phase this summer, stone and wood will be removed from each of the old foundation walls. After these have been provided the necessary insulation, the recovered materials will be returned but in a different pattern. Layer by layer, a connection of nature and metal, town and country, old and new is coming about in both conceptional and physical terms.

Kurze Werbepause

Further information:

Technical counsel: VIAN Estudio (Jorge López)
Team: Maria Paola Marciano
Planning of structural framewokr: Mecanismo

Current magazine
DETAIL 12/2019
DETAIL 12/2019

Renovation, Extension, Reconstruction

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