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40 square meters of magic: this is a hut built by an architect on an abandoned meadow

San Miguel de Corneja The small town of Ávila, with a population of just 40 people, is the perfect embodiment of so-called empty Spain. Located in a hilly area less than 2 hours from Madrid. Sierra de GredosIt is a municipality with medieval origins and a strong agricultural focus, based on houses built with thick granite walls, low wooden ceilings, tiled roofs, and almost non-existent windows to withstand the winter cold. It has its own architectural identity. This architectural typology is integrated into the landscape of grasslands, riparian vegetation, oak thickets, and fenced meadows. One of his latter is Prado Toro, his 10,000 square meter natural area surrounded by a stream that was once used for cattle grazing and until now abandoned. This blank canvas was given to architect Antonio Antequera as a family legacy. suburban studio, plan a small construction project where you can spend the weekend. “When you get out of the car, you can forget about the hustle and bustle of the city and the stress. Just a short walk and you’re in the countryside,” the architect explains to his ICON Design.

The interior of the cabin is based on a single open space that allows for visual and spatial continuity. In this way, the idea of ​​an agricultural shelter is strengthened, where a large roof with pine beams protects the complex.

This project triggered a thorough process of typological and cultural learning for Antequera. Antequera left behind his learned “architectural vices” and, thanks to his family’s stories, composed his own imagination of life in the town. The result of this journey to connect with origins is a residential cabin that pays homage to the architecture of the Castilian region and offers a new perspective on the architectural typology of the Sierra de Gredos.

The cabin has windows on all four facades to ensure proper ventilation and lighting. One of them has access to an outdoor terrace paved with Avria granite.

The cabin is located in the center of the property, about 100 meters from the road and surrounded by vegetation. As you approach the building, its exterior catches your eye. Far from modern conventions, the images presented to us have an envelope of belonging to and rooted in a place, allowing us to identify its climatic and aesthetic context. Masu.

The exterior image of the Prado Toro cabin depicts a dreamlike existing agricultural structure with a tile shell added as an extension.

It is a white rectangular parallelepiped of small dimensions, the maximum allowed by urban planning regulations, with a gabled roof reminiscent of old agricultural buildings used to store tools and hay. Each element of the Prado Toro’s cabin was carefully selected by Antequera. “From the beginning, we wanted to design a project that draws on traditions in the use of materials,” says the architect. In this case, the roof is materialized with inverted tiles that form a perimeter at the top of the facade to protect from wind and moisture. Construction in this area follows common techniques. The lower facade is then covered with tyloresa, a field construction procedure that mixes ceramic mortar with cement mortar to eliminate irregularities and give homogeneity throughout. All of this is surrounded by Avila granite pavers, forming a semicircle and delimiting outdoor spaces, ideal for summer evenings.

The interior of the cabin is distinguished by the continuity of space and the presence of distant views of the countryside.

The inside of a project radically changes the perception generated by the outside. A surprising effect that incorporates modern homely elements and looks at tradition in a new way. “We wanted the cabin to move away from the typical dark, self-contained Castilian inn.” Antequera account. This dichotomy is translated into an open-plan interior without partitions, with windows in all four corners offering distant views and emphasizing the presence of the countryside. Notes of red are also incorporated into the furniture, contrasting with the neutral tones present in the flooring and pine beams that make up the ceiling. “I incorporated color into the interior. Color is something that recurs in my projects, but without forgetting the elements that the cabin image should have,” explains the architect.

The bedroom is located in a loft built using a light pine structure.

The internal distribution of the house is divided into two levels. In some ways, this arrangement is reminiscent of early 20th century townhouses. There, the lower floor was used to house animals in order to provide heat to the bedrooms upstairs. The first floor of the Prado Toro cabin is his 40 square meters and includes an open kitchen, bathroom and living room with a central fireplace. A loft will be added to this level to accommodate a sleeping area. This annex is realized in a light pine structure and is connected by metal stairs. This strengthens the concept of contrast between the interiors. Bright and modern appearance. Huge and traditional.

The cabin has an outdoor area protected by a fiber pergola.

Finally, based solely on the presence of the aforementioned fireplace and the advantages of passive architecture, it is necessary to emphasize the air conditioning and cooling system of the cabin. The good design of the envelope allows the house to be occupied all year round without the need for external energy input. In winter, the inertia of the land itself (the cabin is half buried) provides a stable temperature, which, together with 10 cm of insulation on the facade, minimizes energy exchange with the outside. In summer, the proper orientation of the structure and cross ventilation keep the interior cool.

The interior of the house is divided into two levels, with public areas on the lower level and bedrooms in the loft above.

All these elements constitute a new reimagining of Prado Toro, a cabin built using local materials and techniques that recreates life in the countryside. A breath of fresh air compared to crowded cities, paving the way for architecture in the so-called new countryside.

Source: Elpais

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