Seeing is believing...

Amy
Friday 25 Nov 2011

Non-logical structure creates sense of lightness in heavy concrete home

For this project, ALT arquitectura wanted huge concrete surfaces flying over the ground, without giving too many clues as to the structural performance. They were looking for a non-logical structure to provide to the spaces something magical.

The property is developed as a narrow, longitudinal scheme to make the most of the garden. A sloping plot raises the two-storey house, which has distinct entrances for each floor. The volume arises from the main street at the merging point of the two branches of access, developing as a concrete materialisation at the first floor which rises to close the volume with a weightless cantilever.

The volume has been designed to deceive the intuitive sense that tells us why things should not fall. Contemplating large and heavy volumes of concrete without knowing how they are held together creates an odd and pleasant sensation. Heaviness becomes lightness. The large glass skylight increases the lightness of the staircase and manages to create the feeling of being outside.

The spaces change with movement, and with the variable interaction of sunlight, each moment and every single position in space is different. The house is composed of overlapping spatial concepts. Some are more three-dimensional, others are more two-dimensional, and everything is woven together by the one-dimensional vertical rods of the ladder.

The material that the main enclosure consists of is concrete. What is not concrete, or fluted metal is polished stainless steel. The architects' intention is that nature is reflected in the skin of the building, accentuating the lightness of this large volume of concrete.

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