Acha Zaballa Arquitectos was commissioned to build an attractive family home on a small and funky plot in the Montealegre area of Cantabria, Spain. Although it's blessed with verdant green surroundings, this tiny plot in a rural neighborhood could easily have been devoured by a decent sized home, leaving nary an inch over in which to "play." That's why the design team opted to stack the house in three cantilevering volumes that save space and provide room for a small, private garden.
The plot was almost square with a protruding band, so the best solution for this family was to stack the house vertically. The material palette used – reinforced concrete with a light timber facade – reflects two aims: first to maximize energy and material efficiency and reduce waste and to allow the owners, who are keen rock climbers, to practice their moves on the exterior retaining wall!
The homes arrangement of two 7.5 x 9.3 meter volumes stacked on top of a third volume measuring 4.8 x 9.3 meters frees up garden space. The SE-SW orientation ensures an optimum level of solar gain in the garden while still providing shade for hotter summer months. The interior, which actually appears quite rough and barren in these initial images of the project, is organized around a central stair. All in all, we’re impressed with the creative use of space in a home that defies the sameness characterizing the rest of the homes in the area.
Photos via Josema Cutillas