Twin Dwellings, Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid
Two siblings share a plot amid an urban fabric on the outskirts of the city where old summer dwellings and new semi-detached houses coexist. In this intermediate situation the houses hybridize, appearing as a single unit onto the street, thus recovering a specific scale, and reemerging as two dwellings onto the backyard.
Trying to make the regulations work in our favor, the front (English courtyard) and the rear area are for collective use, whereas the sides accommodate the more private areas – porch, accesses, etc. – trying to promote a more intensive use of these spaces, usually residual ones.
The volume (formless) is determined by the maximum perimeter of the irregular “footprint” of the setback and a roof that descends towards the backyard. The plot measures 500 m2 and each dwelling has 70 m2 per floor.
Inside, each living room can be oriented towards the collective areas or towards the private ones. A void connects the south facade and the staircase, illuminating the interiors and “stretching the dwellings”, also enabling diagonal views. Thus, in contrast to the small and opaque exterior, the interior acquires an unexpected dimension; a sudden change in scale that is kept secret. In this way a space that has been actually reclaimedfrom the garden, does not belong to the dwellings, and is clearly out of scale, ends up defining and identifying the houses.
In both cases the programs vary slightly, trying to find some intermediate-size spaces that permit varying use and exchanging work spaces with bedrooms, for instance. The facades are perforated where necessary, capturing the gaze and freezing movement in a “look through” gesture. Finally, the red color is simply the “light” that complements the pine trees of the area.
Viviendas Mellizas en Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid. Localización: Eustaquio Soler, 21 y 23. Proyecto-realización: 2000-2002. Cliente: González-Sinde. Arquitecto: Ángel Verdasco. Colaboradores: Juan José Jiménez, aparejador; Joaquín Antuña, estructura. Fotografías: Enrique Encabo, Ángel Verdasco. Superficie construida: 564 m2. Presupuesto: 310.080 euros.