It's a great challenge to upgrade historical buildings so that they meet the dictates of our present material and energy crisis without losing their charm. James & Mau tackled this feat head-on with the San Vincente Ferrer home in Madrid. Surrounded by a row of beautiful but energetically less-efficient buildings, the new home has a clever façade of Corten steel shutters that actually spiff up the entire neighborhood.
Despite the constraints of strict building regulations, James & Mau managed to embolden this historic locale in Madrid with their progressive material choices. Not only does the Corten steel completely distinguish the home from its neighbors, but they also provide much-needed natural ventilation and daylighting. They also promote solar gain in winter and shade during the city’s sultry summers.
Inside the home are daylit courtyards and trees, which not only provide a welcome green aesthetic despite the crowded urban environment, but also help to promote better indoor air quality. Otherwise the interior is relatively minimalist, which is exactly the kind of ethos we love to see on Inhabitat. For more James & Mau projects, check out their suspicious mint-leaf patterned shutters and a super sustainable home made with recycled shipping pallets and other found materials.
Photography by Matías Pérez Illera