VB HOUSE | SILENT INTERVENTION

by Vanna Villa

VB house is the latest project completed by the architecture firm Lucas y Hernández Gil. It is located in a small village – Villalba de los Barros – in the south of Extremadura; a region known for its deep red clay soils and one of the top Spanish winemaking regions. 

La Hermandad de Villalba guesthouse belongs to a married couple who have always lived in the village and who have -bravely- decided to commit to their native land and invest in the reconversion of this historic building dating from the eighteenth century. We are confident that its proximity to Merida and other vital cities as well as the enthusiasm of its owners will make it an ideal tourist destination. 

 One of the main objectives when developing the project was that the intervention of the architects would not be seen. They wanted to unveil its potential, without imitating the old, a silent intervention. With a beautiful structure to work with, openings were added to the original structure to create a sequence of spaces that guide the visitor from the main door to the light and rumor of the pool water that was added in the backyard. All modifications adjust to the logic of space. The project provides above all light – as always happens with the projects of the duo Lucas y Hernández Gil. 

 The house with two floors has a traditional setting: three load-bearing walls and Extremaduran vaults on the ground floor. On one side it opens to the central plaza and on the other side to a small patio. All the common areas can be found on this level: living room, kitchen, dining room, and patio.

 In terms of materiality, rough lime mortar has been used in the walls, while a lime slurry was applied to the vaults. Without a doubt, the absolute protagonist is the fired clay floor, which had been destroyed, and has been made according to ancestral techniques by a local potter. Similar in texture to the old floor, only the diagonal and irregular arrangement of the drawings ( mirroring the ceilings) makes it possible to distinguish this floor as contemporary.

 The woodwork is also remarkable, both for the careful restoration of richly decorated original elements and for the work on the new doors, windows, friars and their fittings.

 All the rooms were relocated to the first floor, an old ¨sobrao¨ which was used as a storage area and for the dry curing of meat. This story has been entirely rearranged, although maintaining the atmosphere and the uniqueness of the structure in terms of scale, finishes, and furniture.

 The project faithfully respects the original construction. Each of the unique qualities, lost over time, have been emphasized by the architects. At the same time, it adapts to their new uses and needs, being equipped with modern facilities to ensure comfort, taking special care in the use of materials and sustainable air conditioning systems maximizing the wisdom of vernacular architecture.

 Sometimes architecture is not about building new spaces, but about rediscovering what already exists. Follow @krestadesign 




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