Family houses


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8 experimental homes in El Realejo


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The only pretension of this project —no small thing and it certainly achieves it— is to integrate into its setting, as a white wall in continuity with the urban grid.

This work is located at the end of a small street that ends in a set of stairs like many other ones on the western slope of the Mauror hill. At the top, Torres Bermejas and the Carmen Blanco, and below, the Campo del Príncipe. The ensemble gives shape to the neighbourhood of El Realejo, of Jewish origin and one of the oldest in the city of Granada. The powerful topography, with a vertical drop of up to 14 metres inside a city block, means that the district’s gardens and houses are clustered together and look out over the Plain of Granada and Sierra Nevada. Resulting from an experimental project, eight dwellings were built for a neighbours’ cooperative around a garden in which wisteria and Virginia creeper join the adjacent gardens by climbing over the adobe and brick wall that separates them and whose base slab is perforated into an orderly grid that returns rainwater back to the earth and which in certain points changes its size to become tree surrounds. Given the drop of the slope, the garden sits at a lower level than the pedestrian access, and so the ground floor apartments have vistas over Sierra Nevada or the city’s domes. These eight apartments are all different, made to the measure of the needs of the cooperative’s members. In building them, an innovative system was used that was recently patented by an engineer, a professor of the UGR. It is the ELESDOPA (double-walled structural element). With this concrete system, the vertical and horizontal facings are both structure and enclosure and are thermally insulated on the inside. This does away with the need for finishes, entailing a substantial reduction in the work’s execution costs. The concrete is left bare on walls, floors and ceilings. Energy costs are also reduced thanks to the considerable continuous insulation, and the dwellings’ appropriate orientations, designed according to bioclimatic criteria, allow for this. The system also meant that pillars could be eliminated to provide total continuity between the garden and the parking zone situated below the building. This makes it easy for less experienced drivers to park. For the same reason, the outlet of the stairwell has been rounded off. The building’s exterior adapts to the requirements and regulations of Granada’s historic district. Without any other pretension than that of integrating into its setting, it reveals itself as a white wall in continuity with the district’s grid, with no other finish or embellishment than the precise windows, which are all equal in appearance. Inside the garden, the southeast and southwest facades alternate with other, larger glazed openings that enclose the living rooms.

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Localización Location: Granada. Spain. Arquitecta Architect: Elisa Valero Ramos. Equipo Team: Leonardo Tapiz Buzarra, arquitecto, Isabel Álvarez López, arquitecta técnico. Otros técnicos Other techni- cians: Manuel Rojas Fernández-Fígares Rojas, Francisco Vílchez Cuesta, ingenieros. Promotor Developer: Sociedad Cooperativa Andaluza Huerto de San Cecilio. Constructora Contractor: El Partal S.A.U. Superficie Area: 1.040m2. Fecha de finalización de la obra Completion date of the works: 2016. Fotografía Photography: Fernando Alda.
Elisa Valero Ramos
Fernando Alda Calvo