Arquitectura Viva
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Enrique Espinosa and Lys Villalba, The Young Old House in Cercedilla (Madrid)

In Cercedilla, a municipality in the Guadarrama mountain range, 57 kilometers from Madrid, stands this 1970s summer house that has now been renovated and enlarged by Enrique Espinosa (Cuenca, 1981) and Lys Villalba (Madrid, 1981), following a triple strategy of expanding and thermally fitting out the dwelling, making it engage with the surroundings, and paying attention to comfort, energy consumption, and enjoyment of its rural character.

The enlargement consists of three volumes under one roof, clad with ceramic pieces to differentiate what is new: an extended living room, the bedroom for four daughters (in what was a garage and woodshed), and a room for heating installations. The stone walls are lowered to make room for a beam-and-strut metal structure that makes it possible to open the new living room to the landscape completely. The old roof is replaced but its materials are used to build the furniture, combined with new metal features, such as the two portholes looking south.

The stone and wood of the facades are dismantled and placed on the existing wall, increasing the building’s thermal insulation. In this way the house rises by layers, in successive phases.

The Young Old House seals an alliance between objects and people living halfway between the city and the countryside, between old, updated, and new, in an invitation to rethink contemporary models for living.
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