El Viso House, Madrid

Jacobo García-Germán 

The project involved the thorough restoration of a house built between 1933 and 1936 and located in Madrid’s El Viso neighborhood, an example of Spanish rationalism. The main architect of El Viso was Rafael Bergamín, with the collaboration of Luis Blanco Soler and Luis Felipe Vivanco. The neighborhood is listed as an Asset of Cultural Interest in the Madrid City Hall Catalog, and is also protected by its inclusion in the Iberian Docomomo Registry. For twenty years the restored house was the studio of the architect Javier Feduchi Benlliure. Later it was part of the Colegio Estilo school, founded in the late 1950s by the writer and teacher Josefina Aldecoa upon a liberal education system. 

The project now is taken as a critical reflection on contemporary interventions on modern heritage, and on how to accentuate the original spirit of modern works of architecture through a singularized rethinking. The necessary incorporation of an updated, high-performance energy system is made to overlap with a reaffirmation of El Viso’s formal, material, and stylistic features. To maintain the proportions of the original iron-framed windows, the exterior joinery is carried out with steel profiles, and the original detailings and widths are reproduced to the letter. The curved mouths in exterior openings are restored and completed with limestone drip-trays 4 cm wide and with a 7 cm overhang. The facade mortar with marble dust, the Cotegran with a granite mineral finish on the ground floors, and the enclosure wall on the street side reproduce the original finishes through current techniques. The light green of the facade was the initial color of the row of four houses that this home was part of when completed in 1934. Inside, the colors of some finishes were chosen after a look at magazines of the period, particularly Arquitectura and AC.

Colonia de El Viso, Servicio Histórico COAM

Colonia de El Viso, Servicio Histórico COAM

Colonia de El Viso, Servicio Histórico COAM

Garciagerman Arquitectos

Jacobo García-Germán (socio partner); Marta Roldán, Raquel Díaz de la Campa, Miguel López

Benavides Laperche (paisajismo landscape architect); Pedro Panadero (aparejador quantity surveyor)

Luis Asín