Project Name: Casa Máxima
Practice: Gramática Arquitectónica
Products: Cortizo, CUBREGAL, ACYC, MONTEGAR, PREGALCO
Firm Location: Pontevedra, Spain
Completion year: 2019
Gross Built up Area: 300 sqm
Project Location: Pontevedra, Spain
Lead Architects: María Teresa Sánchez Táboas
Design Team: Teresa Sánchez Táboas, Andrés Suárez Outeda, Jose Antonio García Otero, Petrica Butusina
Structural Consultants: Josep Ramón Solé
Landscape Consultants: O Piñeiro
Contractors: Construcciones Fontexil
Collaborators: Laureano Pereira Peón (Quantity Surveyor)
Photo Credits: Andrés Fraga PérezMore Specs
Excerpt: Casa Máxima is an architectural project designed by Gramática Arquitectónica in Spain. The thin plot was structured around some small volumes that connect with each other and separate the different uses of the house. Instead of doing a strategy of open plan, they decided to do the opposite, the house works more as a comic.
(“Text as submitted by architect”)
Galician rururban landscape fills every corner around Casa Máxima. There´s corn crops across the street, but a little bit further you can see piles of cars that are going to be smashed into small boxes in a car scrapping. The house is situated in a very diffuse limit between the city and old agriculture spaces. Slowly developing as an expansion area for familiar houses, the plot of land was also very irregular, due to the old tradition of ¨minifundio¨ which in Galicia consisted in splitting the agricultural land between all the sons and daughters of a marriage.
This particular proceeding, resulted into the very small and unusual shapes of the plots of land of this rururban areas. So the project from the begining needed to acommodate into this magical geometric reality. One of the first desires of the project promoter, was to have a house with no stairs, so all the programme had to fit into just one floor plan. The thin plot was structured around some small volumes that connect with each other and separate the different uses of the house. Instead of doing a strategy of open plan, we decided to do the opposite, the house works more as a comic.
Each room is a story in itself, being a sequence of different panels. Each room or volume has its own communication with the sky, so the light changes every room throught the day, but also differences the spaces by the light and shadows. Also every volume, has it´s own visual and physical opening to the garden, so from anyone of the rooms one has the feeling of being a little bit outside, the use of the continuum element of the grey flooring, intensifies this effect, so the limits between outside‐inside blurs.
The design of the surrounding garden includes a perimetral path which is drawn above the grass using grey granite, sketching curves and diagonals that create three different exterior spaces. First we have the rounded square of the kitchen, secondly we have the rectangular square of the living room and pool, and finally we have the interior square, a quiet and private space close to the bedrooms.
The northern end is the entry for cars and people. A big space for three cars was also added to the floor plan, so no excavation had to be done, in order to save resources. In the future, this big room can easily be added to the house, serving as an office, or an atelier. In the first aproaches to the design, the entire house would have the same materiality in the outside, but lately it was decided to make a clear difference between heaviness and lightness. Exterior walls made with galician grey granite stone, that links the weight of the house to the earth and speaks about horizontality, with it´s , and the cinq surfaces of the roofs, that connect with the sky and the sunlight.
Inside, the materiality instead, links ceilings with walls, and just breaks by the use of grey flooring, to enphasize the difference between volumes and their pure form. It was decided to make the kitchen the meeting space for the house, a space with a big centered table with the ceramic hob, with a opening to the sky just above, that works as a scenario for cooking with friends, having meetings or doing DIY activities. The centered table came from an old cedar the owner of the house had, so it is a way to remember the origin of the furniture.
Each volume is a different frustum or portion of a pyramid. The frustums have their skylights centering different elements, so in the kitchen the skylight is in the middle and long, to give importance to the table, but in the rooms, the skylight is over the bed and square shaped, so configures a very different kind of roofs that disgragates the house, into a small landscape of smaller houses inside of a big house.
By connecting different volumes, a bigger one is created. Since the house had to occupy most of the surface of the plot of land, it was decided to look as a rururban town inside of the plot of land. A mix of different volumes and shapes that has it´s own universe in the garden.
To protect from the sun and light, some vertical plywood panels were fabricated. The scale and design of them, tries to emulate an interior wardrobe, so the scale of the house in the outside gets even smaller and added to the use of cobblestones in the paths, makes the spaces human size.
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