Asensio-Mah completes the Q House in Northern Spain
The house is a conscious exercise in developing an alternative domestic environment to the surrounding villas of the new suburban neighborhood. The solutions for the development so far have typically been compact villas located on abruptly leveled gardens, irrespective of the complex topographical condition of their sites. The architects' ambition for producing an alternative domestic atmosphere is developed by constructing a more explicit relationship between the house and garden with the existing conditions of the steep site. This organisational strategy for the house sought to register the difference in topography within the parcel by organising a series of terraces that configure the framework for a landscape with differentiated characters. This deliberate geometric configuration affords multiple readings of the outline of the house while facilitating a rich experiential lifestyle within its volume and landscape. Specific organisational and material strategies were developed to produce different volumetric and perceptual readings that change with the different vantage points towards and within the house.
The building is organised in three bands that are arranged around a central circulation core. These three bands maintain a prevailing orientation in the northeast-southwest direction to secure maximum daylight in every room. While the bands configure and organise the different rooms, the circulation core underpins a switchback pattern of shifting orientations with the gradual vertical movement through the house.
The house is clad in dark 'composite' panels that have been customised with digital fabrication techniques. These customised panels are used to articulate sections of the house volume in order to introduce legibility to the overall form. These panels offer a range of different surface consistencies and patterns to the house that reflect the sites changing light conditions in multiple ways, producing an ever changing range of texture and tones.