Excerpt: Casas Loiola, a residential project designed by Ramos Bilbao Arquitectos, ends up talking about the moldability of concrete to generate spaces at will, and talks about drilling and extruding, all at the same time and all this on a robust, hard, stony material, which guarantees eternal properties. This work is, therefore, the result of volumetric experimentation using this medium to solve existing problems of habitability and comfort in the plots of this area, an area as beautiful as it is exploited urbanistically.
[Text as submitted by architect] Being aware that when accessing a semi-detached house on many occasions the characteristics of a single-family home are longed for, this project, being in truth a collective housing building, aims to provide the inhabitant with a feeling of a full single-family home. The promoters, a small cooperative of families with this common goal, required customization, enjoyable outdoor spaces and privacy, a challenge considering the high density of urban plots with similar characteristics that agglomerate this beautiful urban area of the Basque coast.
The weather is another critical factor in deciding the materiality of the building, a humid environment full of saltpeter, capable of deteriorating practically any material in a short time. The famous Flysch came to mind, which resists the continuous attack of the waves, day after day, year after year, a robust, stony material. We could do something similar. Concrete is thought of, as an idea that is reinforced by its adaptability and freedom of customization.
With these premises the project begins, which ends up talking about the moldability of concrete to generate spaces at will, and talks about drilling and extruding, all at the same time and all this on a robust, hard, stony material, which guarantees eternal properties. This work is, therefore, the result of volumetric experimentation using this medium to solve existing problems of habitability and comfort in the plots of this area, an area as beautiful as it is exploited urbanistically.
The solution to the program proposed a series of turns and a game of volumetric slides, also inspired by Flysch himself. The movement in the plan guaranteed the entrance of light and made possible the existence of the terraces. The twists of the gardens freed the houses from the yoke of the traditional “partner gardens” allowing each of them to enjoy a large green space and also guaranteeing their direct sunlight practically the entire day by avoiding shading. The hollows and empties delimited the spaces to preserve privacy without having to give up any of the previous premises.
In this way, the properties, housing and garden, went from being corseted longitudinally to form an “L” on the ground floor, coinciding in limits with the basement floor, something that could generate privacy problems among the neighbors themselves.
This feature, so important in our culture, and especially in the Basque culture, was resolved by implementing an interesting set of plans executed in exposed concrete to the hollows and empties that would guide the user towards their green areas for private use and limiting, at the same time, the views between adjoining, guaranteeing this privacy.
The configuration and equipment of the houses, facades and installations, are aimed at achieving the maximum possible energy efficiency, reducing consumption and emissions to zero through the sustainable production of all the necessary energy, in this case through geothermal heat pumps, seeking to be, in this way and in the set of all its properties, a piece of slight impact capable of guaranteeing eternal shelter.