It is a housing project that try to answer the issue about the integration of a new residential building in the historic center of a small village.
The project has been decided bearing in mind its location and its nature as backdrop of the church. The partition of the plot would be in four blocks, trying to be respectful with the building fabric and typology of the old part of the town.
The blocks have two storey, and one under cover, ground floor for shops and portals and a storey of basement for parking spaces.
The concept we are trying to get is lighten the volume. Instead of presenting courtyards to illuminate the intermediate zones of the building, three cuts are introduced in the façade, these are like wedges of air by voiding the solid, giving rise to a double solution: in one hand, to avoid breaking up the typical division of the old quarter with a single building and only one façade, and, on the other hand, to get that rooms would not be illuminated by courtyards, and getting terraces to the street in an introspective movement of the building.
The clearing would be made inwards and upwards in order to get that the narrowness of the streets would be benefited from the lightening of weight as the building gets higher, achieving that the street breathes and becomes more luminous.
The issue is how to develop a building that can coexist with a contemporary architectural language in a traditional historical context.
The research process arises from two starting points:
1- Implantation of a building of considerable size, 41 meters front and 20 meters deep, in a web of historic old town with a structure of plots very narrow and fragmented, typologys of 6-9 meters of facade and streets 3.50 to 4 meters wide.
2- Integration by using traditional materials such as stone and wood, from a contemporaneous aproach and by using techniques and current technologys.
In response to the first point, the building tries to cohabit with the existing urban fabric, by breaking up into four blocks, which generate a series of interstitial spaces (open courtyards) that are used as terraces on the first floor and allow minimize the impact of the building in the surrounding tissue and introduce and implement the light toward the street.
Regarding the use of traditional materials, the stone facade rests on the head of forged and is anchored to a steel substructure to prevent its fall. On the ground floor, the stone hangs from a metal substructure by offering a empty of unsupported great light and by lightening the perception of the weight image.
We search the smooth and continuous planes by using the stone as a a durable and easy to maintain material.
The slats of cedar on facade are used for both the design of banisters and to hide the clotheslines and they are treated in different shades to qualify the deep of the different planes.
We achieved thus, to minimize the use of materials by trying to offer a clear concept of construction, according to the original strategy.
Founded in 2001, Barge Bouza architecture consists of two architects Santiago Barge Ferreiros and Mª Belén Bouza Cora.
They have been awarded with several international prizes like Honourable Mention International biennial Architecture Prize “Barbara Cappochin” 2013, FAD awards Architecture Prize 2013, the 3rd International Prize “Menhir” for European Union Architects 2003 and selected in international competition "44 young architects international" studies with work built of europe and america 2007.
And national prizes like selected XI Biennial of spanish architecture and planing 2011, 1st Prize COAG 2011 and Special Mention Prize COAG 2004.
Other awards worth pointing out are 1st prize national competition for the building of the Cultural and Ethnographics Center of Mandeo river A Coruña 2011, 2nd prize national competition for the building of a 50 units housing neighbourhood in Covadonga, Ourense 2006.