Architecture is constantly debating between dualities. To intervene in a place through edifications, in most cases, a deliberation between opposite options and, looking for the balance and coherence of it through spatial, visual, compositional and constructive relations, is nothing but the first step of the architectural game.
Intervening in a place with historical meaning, or in a natural environment, or in a consolidated urban area, will require always a posture, a strategy decision which allows to fulfil needs related to a context, but that at the same time can deal with changing situations over the years, solving them with self-determination, resilience and quality.
A simple construction of 76 m2 plot in Adsubia (Alicante) turns into the perfect example to illustrate this debate in architecture: the Font de l’Art, of nomarq | estudi d’arquitectur.
The project, at the beginning, is about a single family building between party walls, in a trapezoid shape plot at the corner of the historic area of the small town of Adsubia, dominated by a south facing orientation towards the main street, and overturning north towards a ravine and the view of the rest of the town.
The plot is marked by its own identity; since in the past it harbored an oil press, its typological character of “old warehouse” as well as its constructive vestiges still survive in it: a wall of Stone masonry of large proportions hoards up the image on the north, also extending to the west, continuing in adjoining plots, sews the consolidated tissue, narrowly linked to tradition. The intervention in this Wall will mean not only the reconstruction of the urban image, but also a recovery of the great sentimental value of a construction with such a local implication.
In this environment rises the new construction, made up by a basement, a ground level with Access through the southern facade, first floor and a walkable roof. Responding to a defined-use program by the owner where the flexibility of spaces is a must, the dialogue between the inherited and the gained, between the comprehension of the material heritage and the necessary contemporaneity, is established.
The construction will be projected as housing, mainly developed in the first floor, with a ground level and a garage, and a big warehouse or working area in the basement; it could also be seen as a guest or residents area in the first floor, an exhibition hall in the ground floor, and a big studio in the basement. Is the building configuration which carries in its DNA the chance of adapting to very diverse situations, as if nomarq | estudi d’arquitectura had managed to recreate this big warehouse, a container of heterogeneous activity that however does not differ, even if it wanted to, from the lifestyle of the place.
The different storeys are configured as diaphanous spaces, alterable, marked by singular elements and of vertical connection: the great wall of Stone masonry consolidates and embraces the new construction binding one Storey with the other; the stairs act as a sculptural element, subtle, straight, tenacious, that guides the movement all through the house; in the last storey, a kitchen and a bathroom, integrated almost as pieces of a fixed furniture but invisible, narrow the space; and the light goes through the building as an extra element of the building. This inner intimacy in contrast with the exterior outright, this quiet dialogue held between different spaces and different phases, is born from an independent closeness, a non-forced integration between the pre-existences and the new construction, between the landscape and the interior of the architecture. The whole house is sustained by four metal HEB pillars, above them leans a corrugated sheet metal slab, backed on the edge. These, joined by IPE beams, allow setting free in the back north a double height between the basement and the ground level, and creating a terrace in the first storey, whose transparent floor floods with indirect light the whole building. The stairs, the same as the light, hangs from the horizontal elements.
In this way, the new house integrates the landscape in the form of a view, as well as the culture in the form of constructive reminiscences, but only touching them, without invading or harassing them, and without creating a stiffness that prevents this Exchange from being cut off in future times. Nomarq has achieved to create a house that adapts not only to the owner’s day to day, but also to the villagers, who still find in this masonry the nourishment for their conversations and walks. This makes us think how such a clever construction, where the architect doesn’t have control of everything that happens, can create a dialogue between positions that might seem to be opposite. A canvas architecture, where the user can develop his own work on it, where what is done as much as what is not done,
Work: Font de l’Art Adsubia. A single family building between party walls
Typology: New work / Restructuring
Location: l’Adsubia, La Marina Alta, Spain
Author: Estudio nomarq | estudi d’arquitectura
Promoter: “ALDO NONIS”
Designer: Ramón Riera Cervera
Buidinlg Company: Nova Construcció i Reformes 1970, S.L.
Constructor manager: Ramón Riera Cervera
Constructor manager: Pascual Ortolá Mengual
Photography: Milena Villalba
Text: Ana Asensio
Traslate: Natalia Dalinkevicius