Project: Family-Friendly Renovation / Cabins in the Woods
Architects: Antonio Maciá Mateu, WOHA arquitectura
Collaborators: Arch. Ana Mora Vitoria
Location: Neighborhood of El Raval, Elche, Alicante, Spain
Area 150.3 m2
Project Year 2018
Photographer: David Frutos
Making architecture is something complex. This complexity is linked with many factors as social, economic and cultural among others, and evolves at the same time as technology improves. In all these transformations there is a common factor: people. Cities, buildings, objects, in short, everything related to architecture is closely linked to people. If we focus on this situation in the case of housing, we see that each person, couple, family or group has different points of view and needs that are reflected in their way of life.
On this approach, we talked with the owners of a plot in the center of the old town of Elche (Spain). They tell us that they would like to live in a forest, but they have a small plot between party walls. The project begins with the search of aspects related to a forest that can be applied to the design of this single-family house with two floors: vegetation, growth over time, large spaces, introverted spaces or overhead lighting, among others.
The house rises in three interrelated levels through a green patio and is organized by two strips. The first two levels are closed and the third is a solarium terrace that has access from the patio. The approach of the first strip tries to be faithful to the point of departure and proposes a single space, of two heights, luminous and more related to the patio located in the back that with the exterior of the house, in which two rooms are introduced elevated on the diaphanous ground floor, like high cabins in a forest. In this double-height space that houses the cabins the lighting is generated through the patio and is increased with skylights on the ceiling.
The second strip is narrower and more closed: on the ground floor it is occupied by the kitchen and on the first floor by the main room. The cabins and the main bedroom are connected by a bridge that allows the view of both the patio and the highest space of the ground floor that occupies the dining room.
In this second strip, and both in the kitchen and in the master bedroom, there is a direct visual connection with the main space of the house. This connection is more intense in the main room because through it you have a vision of the curves of one of the cabins bathed by the overhead light and that emphasizes the sinuosity of its volume.