"The knowledge of the life of the human body and soul, infinitely refined, became a unity, very important to me; the art of constructing the human workshop, its application and interpretation, most necessary" - Richard Neutra
Madrid, 1953: The so-called Pact of Madrid was signed between the United States and Spain. One of its striking architectural consequences was to accentuate and crystallise the influence of the Californian School on Spanish architecture and, in particular, on the Madrid School, which was more sober and restrained than the American School. It became evident during the 1950s, through the construction of the colonies that would be inhabited by the troops on the bases. One of these was built in Aravaca (Madrid) and is attributed to the great architect Richard Neutra (Vienna 1892 - Wuppertal 1970).
This brilliant master of masters visited the Madrid School of Architecture in 1956. The master of horizontal planes on roofs, which seem to a large extent to float on glass walls, this manufacturer of lightness in his projects is also the creator of the "machine in the garden". A concept born of clear surfaces and simple volumes with openings that frame the landscape with intoxicating precision.
Madrid 2015: Antana Construction completes the refurbishment of one of the dwellings that make up the aforementioned group of one-storey houses in Aravaca.
The magnificent challenge consists of translating the language of one of the best architects of the 20th century into the language and uses of 21st century architecture. To resolve this adaptation to the new inhabitants of the house, it is necessary to obtain more space. A first floor was added with a slightly open façade, to defend it from the street, and glazed towards the south, facing the garden. Opting for the L-shape increases privacy by reducing the direct views from the neighbourhood. The trees, which had already been strategically planted to block these views and which have grown luxuriantly, also help in this clever protection. They help to create a sense of seclusion inside the house and enrich the garden. The garden can be seen from the inside because the new openings also frame the exterior elements.
The extension on the new floor will house the life of the adults in the family, while the ground floor will house the common areas, the meeting areas and the activities of the four children in the family unit. Circulations are produced in the coexistence that enrich the contact between the inhabitants of the house, but there are also spaces where solitude can be found. A greater amplitude of spaces and a change of materials were sought in order to obtain less customary surfaces that do not produce visual fatigue. The progress of the construction techniques and the finesse with which Antana works allows for pure and clean finishes in the meeting of materials, moving us in the execution of the details as a beautiful poem can do.
The battered pillars were reinforced by means of a meticulous technique that the reader can reread in the following pages.
and the use of an outdated garage, whose access ramp was too steep to be used by the small cars of the 1950s, was changed to accommodate the service bedroom.
If in those years the Californian architectural model introduced light horizontally, today Antana adds skylights dotted around the house so that natural light also invades the house vertically. The house has gained spaciousness, modernity, circulation, light, new uses and mystery.
The refurbishment has fulfilled the four principles of Gestaalt. Knowledge of the place, knowledge of the environment, knowledge of the intellectual environment and knowledge of the client. We can count on an excellent past/present mix, solved by very well thought out and very well realised distribution solutions, where privacy, light and efficiency coexist with fluidity and harmony.
We encourage you to get to know the Antana's exclusive home renovation activity and discover the origins of each project and the results of our work.