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TSM3, dwelling in Madrid

Carlos Arroyo, arquitecto

Description Technical file

Instability, sustainability and mobility constitute the starting points for this interesting architectural reflection undertaken in the centre of Madrid, opening pathways towards the manner of acting in situations of major urban fragility that need to address untypical and changing functional programmes.
TSM3, the “unstable house” as its authors define it, combines the restoration of the ground floor of a 59.80-m² property between party walls in the centre of Madrid and the construction of 2.5 new storeys above it to a total of 154 m². The design disembodies the original construction in a flexible dwelling and/or office system that can change at any time.
All the elements that define the inhabitable space are in a state of flux: they are changing. The architecture is not defined with fixed tectonic elements such as structures, walls or gaps but through a series of devices that produce actions or allow situations and relations within the space. These devices are accessories of “hyperdensity”, small and simple elements that serve for multiplying the possibilities of use within a single space.
The façade seeks to be a reproduction of traditional Madrid architecture, complying with the municipal byelaws of the historic centre, but the lightweight construction undertaken with current techniques permits the transformation of the relationship between exterior and interior, leading to an “interface” between the changing external appearance and a versatile interior.
The mobile pieces allow three types of façade to be composed:
-According to load transmission criteria, visually gravitational criteria.
-According to geometric criteria. The enclosure is understood as a skin, as a fabric whose laws of composition are abstract and autonomous.
-According to the self-composition resulting from the desired interior-exterior relationship, attending to environmental factors such as lighting, sunlight, ventilation and humidity, plus factors to do with privacy and views, with the relationship between the private space and the public space being susceptible of modification.
The mandatory lime render “Madrid-style” is in this case reduced to a thickness of 1.5 mm applied on lacquered steel frames and closed-cell thermal insulation panels. The sky blue of the render is a traditional colour in Madrid’s baroque period, but also the colour of insulation, thus combining the traditional imagery with the development of a culture of sustainability.
The building is unstable in the literal sense of the word. It stands on an existing solid brick structure on the ground floor, with original 18th-century load bearing walls, but only half the floor is accessible owing to the neighbouring convent’s right of use on the other half still being in place. Consequently half the building is cantilevered over the convent, held up by steel profiles coated in protective blue paint that cross the space to make the structural stress visible.
The technology, like the house, is also “unstable”. The walls can be unscrewed in order to easily transform the building’s technical features. The main installations are concentrated in a central passage that even allows wet areas to be added or eliminated according to the needs of the programme and without any waste of grey energy.
In the ground floor and basement the thickness of the brick walls provides masses of considerable thermal inertia that can be re-conducted through the central space, with sliding glass openings. The landscaped roof includes a wall that operates as a conservatory to accumulate heat or as a solar chimney to create a current of fresh air through the basement and the embrasures situated below the narrow street.

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Localización: Madrid Arquitecto: Carlos Arroyo Arquitectos, Carlos Arroyo y Vanessa Cerezo Producción: Manuel Ocaña Estructura: BEdV , Baroja Estévez del Valle Fotografía: Miguel de Guzman
Carlos Arroyo
Miguel De Guzmán