Project: Country Cottage
Architects: Canobardin, Rosa Cano Cortes
Lead Architects: Julia Cano, Barbara Bardin
Builder: Julian Solano Poveda
Structural Engineer: Bernabeu Ingenieros
Location: Zafra de Záncara, Cuenca, Spain
Area: 245 m2
Photographs: Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzman, Rocio Romero)
The traditional ways of the area, the surroundings, the technics available, those are the main conditions that bring the project to its result. This entirely new house is located on a farm in the region of La Mancha Alta Conquense, in Zafra de Záncara. This farm of cultivate fields, is a radical landscape of agricultural plots, spotted with isolated trees. In the north area of the house, we find the access road marked with a row of almond trees.
The Country Cottage is built on the upper part of a change of slope, on a plot that is almost flat, just with a slight slope to the southeast. The place enjoys long distant views of the fields. This beauty is also origin of a hostile climate, with many contrasts between cold windy long winters and hot dry summers.
This house purpose is to be a weekend house where the owners can spend time with their family, and at the same time they can be close to the development of the agricultural works. The facts that there wasn’t electrical supply and that it had to be heated really fast do to the times is unhabited, they are all starting points in the design of the project.
The masons in the area usually build with thermoclay blocks. This is why the walls are built with 29cm termoclay blocks, that with the insulation and the interior cladding, give us a 40cm walls. These walls just as the old house, protects the house from the hostilities of the weather. The windows are small, just 50x50cm and frames the fields just like beautiful pictures. These walls and small windows make you feel like a sheltered rabbit in its hole.
The water needed for the house is obtained from a nearby well and due to the absence of electricity supply, the water pumping is carried out by a magnificent solar photovoltaic installation which also supplies the house with electricity. This means, the owners can enjoy how the seasons pass by and contemplate how the crops change throughout the year in a 100% self-sufficient manner and without depending on any external supply. The heating of the house is provided by a biomass boiler which, together with the good insulation of the house, means that in just a few hours the house is warmed up and ready to be lived in, even on the coldest days of the cold winters in Cuenca.
The Country Cottage is articulated in two volumes, to give privacy to the rooms and between a set of walls that generate pleasant living areas. These walls sometimes serve to protect us from the icy north winds, other times to adapt the house to the topography or to hide the solar panels that supply electricity and water to the house. This, together with the use of roof tiles recovered from a demolition in the area and the good work of Julián, the bricklayer who built the house, made that those who have seen the house do not believe that it is a new construction and tell us that it looks like the rehabilitation of an existing construction, which for us is the best thing they can say about the project.