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University of Alicante


Story of House


Video Images


Casa del Amor




Microarchitecture 1st


Microarchitecture 2nd


Microarchitecture 3rd


1st Model


2nd Model


New Stories of House


Miranda Santos House, by Alvaro Siza

At the beginning of the 1960's, the Portuguese architect, Ă lvaro Siza, designed a house for a writer in Matosinhos, Porto. Since then, there have been several changes in its ownership but Siza has continued to be the architect throughout and has been in charge of all its alterations, additions and new furniture. Now, due to external circumstances, the house fulfils all the requirements to be a museum of the architect. The owners of the house The writer Luisa Ferreira da Costa commissioned the young Ă lvaro Siza in 1962 to design a house in a dense neighbourhood of small plots. Costa asked for privacy and seclusion, and requested low, indirect light suitable for her writing. Siza responded by providing a two-storey house with skylights to create diffuse overhead light and small windows in the elevations to simply provide views of orientation and reference. He made use of the architectural vernacular, using mono pitched tiled roofs and plastered structural granite walls. This produced simplicity of volumes, a quality of composition reinforced by meticulous constructional details with openings framed in thick timbers, untreated to retain their natural colour. The house changed ownership in 1987. Its new proprietor, Miranda Dos Santos, commissioned Siza to make alterations which consisted of enlarging existing windows and making new ones as a reaction against the new owner's perception of the dim light of the skylights. These new openings were detailed differently from the original construction. It was as if Siza was marking his own evolution by adding new materials: the new window openings were framed with white painted wood in white marble cases. Shortly afterwards, the house passed to Santos' son, an engineer who also asked Siza to continue working with the house, but this time, by designing all its furniture. His commission was not to ask Siza for 'artistic' objects, but rather to fulfil his practical requirements. The transformation of the house During this long history of change of proprietors, Siza's had been acquiring an international acclaim with a long list of celebrated works, he had lectured at numerous universities, exhibited his work almost all over the world, and received the most prestigious awards and prizes. Consequently, it is not hard to imagine the tremendous difficulty Santos's son had, trying to achieve his aim. For years he literally hounded Siza to the point where he recognised his "extraordinary, I might say almost excessive, admiration for the architect and his work". He accompanied Siza on his way to work and even drove him to and from the airport, snatching brief moments of the architect's time in order to get hold of a sketch, an idea, a correction or his approval. Up to now, Ă lvaro Siza has designed for the house an extensive list of furniture and fittings: steel arm lamps both in the wall and floor versions, a table lamp with a shade formed by a thin sheet of bent wood, a dining table with glass top edged in wood, several cherry-wood chests-of-drawers with handles that automatically retract by an inner counterweight, welsh dressers with the sides in pale marble that contrasts with the mahogany veneer, a round table in marble with a central steel leg, three-legged chairs whose seats are tapered to allow better use of the round table, glass-fronted bookcase-cabinets with a writing desk, a walllamp obtained simply from a plain sheet of bent wood, a floor lamp screened with a translucent marble disc, a chest-of-drawers which acts as the headboard and frame of the bed, a dressing-table, a bedsidechest with simply screened lamp, a single-drawer bedside table, a full collection of accessories for the bathroom, and even the design of two types of door and cupboard keys. Now-a-days, almost all of the furniture is being mass-produced, the reproductions have become highly popular and are even exhibited in design museums. The simple solutions for furnishing the Miranda Santos House have now become original prototypes. This is a new stage in the life of the house, the house to become understood as a museum of the architect's furniture displayed within his own architecture. Indeed, as it were a retrospective exhibition at the house, a portrait of the architect greets our visit.

Blas House, by Alberto Campo Baeza

Having a steep and “uncomfortable” site yet with a beautiful view over the horizon, a professor of literature in Madrid approached the architect, Alberto Campo Baeza, to design a house for his family where they could “listen to music”. As a present he gave the architect a beautiful book of poetry, as it were provisions for starting the design process. Thus, the client directed the architect whose world-wide reputation was recognised for his poetic treatment of natural light. With this mutual cultural understanding between the client and the architect, a house was being born where one listens to the music within the silence. A house for emotions; to forget and remember The first day that the client, Francisco de Blas, visited the architect he gave him a book of poetry from 1950 with the complete work of the Spanish poet Luis Cernuda (1902- 1963) who had been a member of the group of poets, Generation 27, with Federico García Lorca among others. Cernuda’s poetry was dense with intense emotions, describing sensitivity and love, pain and solitary, and the contrasts between the realisation of his personal desires (the wish) and the limits imposed by the world around him (reality). His most famous poem Donde habite el olvido (1932-33) describes a world where one forgets all one’s problems and in that way manages to achieve the freedom that one longs so much. This was the reading material that the professor of literature transmitted to his architect. It seemed as if Francisco de Blas wanted something more than a house, that he wanted place where emotions and reflections were part of the building material. For Campo Baeza, this was a welcoming challenge. In fact, he intended his architecture to speak poetry and in order to transmit that to his architectural students he started every lecture for his classes at the University with an opening of the poem, Auguries of Innocence by William Blake: To see a World in a grain of sand. And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the Palm of your hand. And Eternity in an Hour. The house in the mountain for listening to silence With these provisions, Campo Baeza went to visit the site with the client. It was to the southwest of Madrid with a wonderful view to the north towards the mountains and 3000 squares metres with a difference of 15 metres in height from bottom to the top. Despite that the client thought it very uncomfortable, the architect realised immediately that the place was perfect for the brief that the client had given him. Being so high, the surrounding houses would disappear and would leave the horizontal landscape in the distance to be enjoyed. Studying the slope, Campo Baeza decided to make a platform for the house to sit on and to divide the house into two conceptual elements: a solid concrete box sitting firmly on the ground emphasising its sense of gravity and another transparent glass box placed on the concrete box with a light and simple steel structure that almost disappears into the landscape. The perfectly carved out box contrasts with the structural qualities of the second, the viewpoint situated at the highest point of the house. They are two opposing states or qualities of how light transmit through the material; one completely opaque and the other completely open. Inside the concrete box is the programme of the house dividing the spaces so as the living areas - the four bedrooms and the living room - have a view of the framed landscape through square gaps that open out to the horizon. The effect is as if the landscape is far away from our reach in the distance. The opposite is felt in the totally transparent box on its roof where one is literally absorbed by the power of the surroundings. It is here that the inhabitant can loose all sense for the time, to listen to the sounds of the ambience, of the silence, of the music of the landscape. One recalls the effect of John Cage’s musical piece “4 minutes and 33 seconds” (1952) where the pianist sits in silence in front of the piano while the audience listen to the sounds of the surroundings. No two people listen to the silence in the same way. In fact, people are generally not educated in listening to the silence. In de Blas house one finds peace within oneself and gains freedom. The experience is deeply personal, based on reflections; forgetting and remembering and relating oneself with the environment. Francisco de Blas and Alberto Campo Baeza have made a house where its poetry helps to build another more subjective poetry of the one who perceives the place.

Family House, by Mario Botta

Carlo and Leontina Bianchi were close friends of the Swiss architecture student, Mario Botta, when he refurbished an old flat for them in the village of Genestrerio, Switzerland. In 1971, after recently finishing his studies, Botta was asked by the same family to design a new house, but this time in the countryside of the Ticino Canton, at the foot of Monte San Giorgio, overlooking Lake Lugano. Although the brief was very similar - a low budget house with rooms for a couple with two children - the process of thinking this new house was very different. In fact, it was now like building a house starting from the roof. Vernacular architecture At the north of the old fishing village, Riva San Vitale, the site is at the end of a small road that ascends along the mountain slopes towards the border of an extensive wood. It was a beautiful land of 850 square metres covered with tall chestnut trees, which Leontina Bianchi inherited, set on a steep hill that lead down to Lake Lugano and faced the impressive Monte Generoso between the peaks of the Lombard Prealpi which are usually covered with snow. Characteristics of this region were the clear volumes of old buildings that raised over the trees as traces of human marks. Apart from the 16th century temple in Riva San Vitale, there were once plentiful old "Roccoli", or traditional bird hunting towers. Later, although many of them were destroyed, some were converted into weekend houses. It was precisely this combination of astonishing nature and basic construction which gave a special quality to the area. Nevertheless, during the last century, the land along the small road which ended in the Bianchi's site, had suffered by indiscriminate planning development. Consequently and from the very beginning, Mario Botta's main concern was to propose a house that would mark the limit of the careless expansion of the village as a means of protecting the woods. Due in part to Botta's protest with his powerful architecture and shortly after the completion of the house, a new urban planning regulation declared the environment as a green belt and, hence, no further building construction was approved in the area. This is the reason why this house stands alone in its protected landscape. Acknowledging that with building one transforms nature, Mario Botta insisted on committing himself to build a pleasant and human space. Evidence of this dialogue are in the posters from the Ticino Tourist Office which shows images of Swiss landscapes with Botta's architecture. In the case of the house at Riva San Vitale, he reinterpreted the vernacular type of tower to protect the landscape, together with answering his friends' wishes of both enjoying the views of the lake above the trees and by having a strong contact with the ground. Building the landscape From the old road that reaches the site at its top, a thin metal bridge leads to the house which is formed as a 13 metres high by 10 metre square tower. The 18 metres long gangway emphasises a separation from the land and reveals the house as an observatory of the surrounding landscape. The feeling, when crossing the bridge towards the house, is of entering into the landscape, and one's eyes extend beyond to the church of Melano, at the other side of the lake. Since the house is organized around a central staircase, its spiral circulation faces different views. From the entrance, and in descending order, there is a studio and an upper terrace on the east overlooking the lake and the mountains; the parents' bedroom with its spacious terrace facing south to the meadows, and then, below the floor with the children's bedroom and playroom. Moreover, all the bedrooms are open to a triple height space, so they communicate visually to each other and to the spaces below, including the kitchen and living room. Finally, there is a cellar and a big porch that opens directly to the ground. The house is like a carved volume with four elevations which responds to the surrounding environment: the lake, church of Melano, the meadows, the woods, and the old access road with the green. Each aperture in the facade frames a specific view and expresses Mario Botta's belief that architecture is the design of a location. Therefore, his facades are not simply a question of decorating the exterior surface of a building. They express a relationship of the interior of the house with the surroundings, the movement of the sun, or the direction to an existing historical construction; they have a geometry that corresponds to the abstraction of the surrounding landscape.

VIDEO IMAGES I try to explain what I do not like architecture. When I arriving at Alicante I am surprised how be built without conscience.

It is built not respecting nature. I like architectures that respect what was there before. I drew the city, what it had to be and what was deleted

I gave the example of where the buildings are integrated with nature and become difficult to identify. In my video I tried to put in comparison with two ways to build different but reaching the same point.Â

CASA DEL AMOR The architect who designed this house is Carlos Arroyo for the soccer player Clarence Clyde Seedorf.

It was given to the wife of the soccer player as a wedding gift. The building began as a home for the weekend,"The love house"

CASA DEL AMOR All spaces are designed for two people. It’s the house for romantic weekend’s.


AMNESIA Amnesia is a disorder of longterm episodic memory. The person suffering from amnesia may be unable to remember events of his recent life, or in severe cases even remote events, and may not be able to acquire permanent new memories, while it is generally preserved the ability to learn new actions.


Clive Wearing suffers from anterograde amnesia (meaning he can’t create new memories) as well as retrograde amnesia (meaning he’s lost many of his memories). For him, life is a haze somewhere between consciousness and slumber. His memories from his life before 1985 are very few. He knows that he has children and loves his wife, but that’s basically it. Before his amnesia came, he was a musicologist, conductor, tenor, and keyboardist..

It all started nearly thirty years ago when Wearing contracted a herpes virus that attacks the nervous system. The effects of the illness were so great that, now, he lacks the ability to form new memories, and he also cannot recall aspects of his past memories. According to his wife, his memory lasts between 7 and 30 seconds. Every day, he feels that he’s “waking up” several times a minute, as his consciousness is essentially rebooting. Indeed, it is said that he recurrently believes that he has just woken from a coma. Because he has no memory, and he has the constant perception of just waking up, he constantly writes this down in his journal


we have based on the way to see the life of Clive Wearing. He is an amnesian patient,who can`t remember more than seven seconds, for this reason, he is all the time discovering new things. This fact is the one that we have chosen as a positive of the amnesia illness, In our microarchitecture we try to transmit this sensation, when you enter inside, you start to see the real world in a different way , because it has some transparent windows, that they deform the reality and make you to approach to the amnesia world, thank of seeing things that you think you have never seen.

MICROARCHITECTURE 2nd model We have tried to do improve our architecture, making the structure adaptable with the person, with his scale and shape and allow the person to do more activities  and stay in different positions.   For example, he can sit comfortably and the structure folds and it came back to his shape when the person stands up. the support system has a mechanism that it allows turn around independent way to the person inside, that allow the person to see the reality in a different ways thanks to the papers, and discovering new realities.

Furthermore,with the game of transparent and translucent papers the person starts to develop his intuition, as an amnesia patient use it to discover things that he has forgotten. And  this is important because, intuition intuion is another sense of the humans, that we are losing it.


For this model we decided to create a structure where a person can interact with people outside.


We created the stations and the person can spread inside dell'microarchitecture.

1ST MODEL We worked with different kinds of cardboard structures, always playing with the idea of becoming a the reality in a moody reality. But we had a problem, our structure had to be less static, it had to be more adaptable to the person, to get that the person and the structure became in the same thing, and allow to the person inside to interact with people in a better way. Because for us was very important to create the feelings of to be surrounded by unknown people in the same way that an amnesia patient feels it.

We have created a suit that the person you can always carry around.

Creating places where you can interact with other people.


NEW STORIES OF HOUSE Different proposals

NEW STORIES OF HOUSE Different proposals


We decided to create a structure that runs through the whole house. The red tunnel leads the person in the various rooms of the house. A series of instincts make it clear to the person what to do.


An area where the person can perform different actions. The table and chairs for eating. armchairs where you can read and enjoy themselves. An area where you can relax and watch television


In the bathroom we made changes such that the person can understand that it comes from outside the bathroom. A very simplified shower that gives him the urge to pull the chain to the water fall.


In the closet we did a location where the person is brought to undress. We put a roof cone to cause the person to fall to the bed.


In the same way the floor is always getting up to induce more the person to the bed


In the roof we created a leisure area, where the person can do workout.

FINAL CONCLUSIONS The semester started whit a short introduction to the theme: New stories of house in Spain and producing a microarchitecture. The main goal was to understand the story of an architectural important house, focused on the client, rewrite it due to a neurological disease and improve the building. I would like to say that this course had nothing i had expected when i signed up for it. When i signed up for this course i thought it was going to be an project like every other project. It was difficult to get in contact with a different working method. Initially I was very distressed with the matter because I could not understand the need of the patient. When we had to work on the house and to make changes things have also become the best! Understand the needs of the patient and find the most logical solution was a very interesting job. It was a wonderful experience to work with two different cultures.

BIBLIOGRAPHY amor/01.html

University of Alicante Architectural Project 4 1st Semester 2016-2017

Professor Javier Sanchez Merina Book made Alessandro Olla Team group Ibtissam Bakkach, Raul Hernรกndez, Alessandro Olla

Manifesto-Casa del Amor  
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