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New Horizons

A stack of concrete beams, a 20-ton piece of granite and a cantilevered swimming pool are all standard issue in this unconventional Spanish home Words tessa pearson Pictures christian schaulin Production & styling kerstin rose

Exterior Azure water and verdant surroundings amplify the impact of the concrete and steel structure. A daybed,

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sofa and dining table on the pool deck extend the living space outside, helping the interior merge with the outdoors ➤

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S

ituated just outside Madrid in the small village of Las Rozas, this incredible combination of concrete, steel and glass is the family home of Spanish architect Antón García-Abril. Reminiscent of 1960s Brutalist architecture, the house is one enormous contradiction. Externally, oversized concrete beams usually used in the building of motorway bridges form a giant industrial structure that appears totally out of context with its rustic surroundings. But once inside the space seems transparent: vast windows and open-plan areas allow the interior to blend with the landscape, inviting the outside in. We spoke to the homeowner about the project: How did you go about creating such a unique building? The structure itself is formed of seven concrete girders, held in place by a 20-ton piece of granite placed on the top. This unusual technique is what makes the house so spatially innovative. It only took seven days to construct, how is that possible? We spent a year planning and engineering the individual elements that make up the house. Everything was completely prefabricated prior to assembly. How did you decorate the interior? I wouldn’t really describe the interior design process as decoration, we simply chose furniture and fittings to occupy the space and make it a comfortable place to live. The things I chose are designs that I admire, generally the masterpieces of architects such as Mies van der Rohe or Le Corbusier. These items are groundbreaking yet timeless – something that I strive for with my own creations. How do other people react to the building? Most people are amazed the first time they see it and are then further surprised when they enter the house and experience just how homely it is. It was a challenge to create a relaxing family home that incorporated such extreme spatial and structural concepts, but I think this unlikely juxtaposition has worked very well for us. The children seem to really appreciate the continuous space – they’re free to run, play, and visually interact with the outdoors at all times. [[1L]] ELLE DECOration MARCH 2010

Living area The floor-length grey curtains help to create more intimate zones within the enormous expanse of concrete and glass. A sofa by Natuzzi, ‘Barcelona’ daybed by Mies van der Rohe for Knoll and Le Corbusier’s ‘LC4’

chaise longue and ‘LC2’ armchairs for Cassina (available from Aram Store) share the space with an ‘Arco’ floor lamp by Achille and Giacomo Castiglioni for Flos ➤ Stockist details on p169

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‘Most people are amazed when they enter the house and experience just how homely it is’

Dining area In the sleek open-plan space, the homeowner has paired Ikea’s ‘Norrsten’ table with Maarten van Severen’s ‘03’ chairs for Vitra, while the ceiling [[1L]] ELLE DECOration MARCH 2010

light comes from French store Leroy Merlin. Slatted blinds allow the family more privacy when required ➤ Stockist details on p169 MARCH 2010 ELLE DECOration [[2R]]


Vast windows allow the interior to blend in with the landscape, inviting the outside in

Bedroom A ‘Tolomeo’ lamp by Artemide (available from Icône) sits above Ikea’s ‘Malm’ bed in the main bedroom on the upper level of the house. At the bottom of the bed

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is a Roca bathtub, which has some of the best views in the house. Once more, slatted blinds provide privacy d e c o Stockist details on p169

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Casa Hemeroscopium en ELLE  

la revista ELLE DECORATION publica un artículo sobre la casa Hemeroscopium