​”The Three Little Pigs” – Cork House | Madrid, Spain | 2022

The intervention updates a house built in the 90s on the outskirts of Madrid. It consisted of a cubical volume, made of red brick and a salmon-coloured mortar topped with a flat tiled hipped roof. In the SW corner, a double-height oblique porch interrupted​​ the volume. Two auxiliary buildings appeared around the house, the facilities room and the garage followed by a pergola.

Hundred-year-old pine trees surround the house. It seemed important to us to blend in with the surroundings. The idea of lining it with cork was the starting point and the owners agreed from the beginning. The cork blends in with the bark of other trees, guarantees durability, and improves the thermal properties of the façade. The appearance is similar to that of a stone tile, but with a warmer and lighter appearance.

We decided to cover only the façades of the cube with cork, maintaining the hipped roof and leaving the brick painted black in the auxiliary constructions.

The composition of the openings in the façade respond to solar capture and protection. They are generally square, but they have small differences depending on the facade in which they are located. In the North, they are scarce, in the South abundant and protected externally with a blind, and to the East and West a sheet located at the bottom of the openings protect them from solar radiation and the lack of privacy.

A concrete bench runs along the south elevation acting as a basement, it is also visible in the interior as an ash bench and extends to the sides blurring the limits of the cube.

The interior combines few materials. Polished concrete floors; wooden tables, benches and countertops; stainless steel and white laminate in the kitchen; and plaster showers and bathtubs.

A sliding cork door runs lengthwise and divides the entire house. On the one side are the hall, stairs, kitchen and service bedroom. On the other side, a single room in which four columns and a double-height ceiling divides the floor plan into six quadrants. The first three quadrants, close to the sliding windows, are the dining room and living room with a swing hanging from the double-height ceiling. The other three located on the centre of the cube have no defined program and function as a large corridor that connects both sides of the garden, East and West.

This sliding cork door creates different relationships between the server and served spaces depending on the time of day and needs.

The South window, on top of the ash bench, runs through the three main spaces of the house and connects all of them. It is an important compositional element, it gives warmth and humanize that wide space, you can sit on it being part of the conversation that is taking place inside or contemplate the garden bringing the exterior in. It can also serve as a surface in which to place decoration and collecting objects of the owners.

Through a glass-enclosed passageway on one of the sides of the cube, there is access to what used to be the old garage. With acoustic and visual independence, it becomes a multipurpose room: Cinema, gym, games and crafts room and sporadically a guest bedroom with an en-suite bathroom.

The stairs lead you to the hall on the upper floor, which also serves as a study, work, reading and rest room. A long ash table separates it from the double height that dominates the living room and the East-West windows and, opposite to it, a green steel shelf covered in cork separating the staircase.

The access to the master bedroom is through the dressing room. The sink, made of concrete on an ash shelf, is part of it. The shower and the water closet are located behind the sink on two separate spaces. On the opposite side, the access to the master bedroom with two corner balconies overlooking the garden and the treetops.

From the hall, there is also access to the daughters’ bedrooms with a symmetrical distribution and from which there is access to a shared bathroom.

Outside, on the South East corner, the interior grid expands to the exterior forming four more quadrants, some covered, others uncovered, embraced by the concrete bench and the brick wall.

The landscaping renovation focused on the areas closed to the main facades, preserved the pre-existing esplanade of grass and pine trees and extended to the lower platform dedicated to the swimming pool. Text description by the architects.

Source: www.eme157.com
Photography by: Luis Diaz Diaz 
Gross Built Area: 545 m2