Family houses


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Dwelling in the historic district of Seville

Antonio Cruz

Description Technical file

This project for a family house in Seville constitutes a brilliant exercise of adapting it to a dense and compacted urban environment through the recovery of the central courtyard as the element that generates the living space of the building.

The plot on which this house stands was completely surrounded by party walls except in the 1.80-metre façade that connected it to the street. This situation, habitually found in the old districts of Spanish cities and especially in that of Seville, has given rise to a sequence of internal courtyards that provide light and ventilation for the different rooms of the house, generating a space that shapes its own structure.

The resulting building, because of the shape of the plot, reproduces the traditional Seville typology where the house is connected with the interior courtyards while the façade giving on to the street is reduced to its minimal expression both in length and in significance. A door of moderate dimensions leads to an ample interior and a spacious dwelling.

This is an evident example of a way of designing where the formalisation of the void has greater significance than the manner of understanding the layout of what could be defined as the "filled spaces". The decision on the situation and shape of the courtyards here appears as a decision taken prior to the project for the house, defining an orthogonal geometry to which the rest of the spaces adapt between the courtyards and the party walls.

The house is organised on a strip of approximately 7 x 30 metres and over two levels, while a suite of outbuildings completes and defines the rest of the sides of the courtyards.

Recently a newly-opened street has modified the length of the primitive façade, which has acquired a length of 30 metres without having modified its initial blind-wall concept, expanding the entrance door and creating the odd isolated opening to provide spotlighting for certain areas of the dwelling. The house now faces this new street, which is of reduced width, like a wall bored through with four openings with an appearance similar to other traditional walls that closed off the interior gardens.

In summary, it could be stated that the house recovers a traditional typology inherent to the city of Seville, which is here materialised in the appearance of a contemporary architecture in which the building takes possession of its exterior-interior landscape that, in turn, constitutes the manner in which it takes in natural light.

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Arquitecto: Antonio Cruz. Arquitectura Técnica: Análisis de Edificación y Construcción: Manuel Delgado. Fotografía: Fernando Alda.
Antonio Cruz
Fernando Alda Calvo