Family houses

Umbrete. Sevilla

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Officially protected dwellings

Solinas + Verd Arquitectos. Simone Solinas, Gabriel Verd Gallego, arquitectos

FAD Awards finalist 2009  Architecture
Description Technical file

New interpretation of traditional Andalusian domestic architecture, exemplified in the sequence of filled spaces and gaps and the multiple courtyards that alternate in the dwellings, through a clearly contemporary language.

The project is situated in the northern zone of the town of Umbrete, in an area where the built urban grid and the gaps meet up, developing the idea that won the national competition for Young Architects in Andalusia in the year 2002 and approached through the search for a prototype of social dwelling, creating a sequence of filled spaces and gaps to link it to examples of vernacular domestic Andalusian architecture. With regard to the morphological characteristics of Umbrete’s popular architecture, the vast majority of constructions are of the terraced family house typology, cubical in shape and elongated, in which the outdoor areas inside the plot have as much importance as the built spaces. This type of popular architecture always maintains a human scale and the domestic programme develops over two floors: the ground floor used for the dwelling itself and the upper floor used as a solarium, storeroom, granary… It is here proposed to occupy the available surface space with a series of volumes, filled spaces and gaps connected to each other to shape and occupy the entire plot. With a plot width of six metres (the most habitual one in terraced social dwellings in recent years in Andalusia), a house is proposed in which almost all of the domestic programme looks inwards in each property. These dwellings aim for a high degree of privacy, with most of the spaces opening up to the interior and giving the façades large openings through which the transition between exterior and interior takes place. From the street the houses are accessed via a covered space leading to a first courtyard protected from the sun with a canopy (or sailcloth), with the entrance to the interior and the living room. The latter separates and delimits a second courtyard, a more private and interior one, the courtyard with the lemon tree. Both are put forward as the dwelling’s natural spatial expansion towards the exterior, in the manner of the traditional Andalusian typology.
In the upper floor, the terrace situated between the two courtyards gives the dwelling a breathing space where a solarium or a possible additional bedroom are always concealed from view from the outside and do not alter the appearance of the house from the street. The open, covered space of the entrance offers the possibility, among others, of parking a vehicle. The living room enjoys a double orientation, with one of its sides opening always to the south, as well as the crossed ventilation favoured by the layout of the courtyards, thus demonstrating a decided eco-friendly disposition. The design of the dwellings has at all times sought the greatest possible rationality and constructional economy in order to ensure their quality and to keep the costs within the financial limits established. It chooses a structure with porticoes in reinforced concrete and single-direction forging on a reinforced concrete foundation, with this solution being considered the most economical one for this type of dwelling.

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Localización: Hermanas de la Caridad, Umbrete, Sevilla. Autores: Solinas + Verd Arquitectos. Simone Solinas, Gabriel Verd Gallego, arquitectos. Estructuras: Edartec Consultores. Instalaciones: Dimarq. Asesoría Técnica (Epsa): Carmen Ortiz, Antonio Sanromán. Arquitectos Técnicos: Eduardo Vázquez, Javier Perales, María Del Carmen Ruiz. Maqueta: Solinas + Verd Arquitectos, Federico Farina. Constructora: Sanrocon. Promotor: EPSA (Empresa Pública de Suelo de Andalucía). Consejería de Vivienda y Ordenación del Territorio de la Junta de Andalucía. Fotografía: Jesús Granada
Gabriel Verd Gallego
Simone Solinas
Solinas+Verd Arquitectos
Jesús Granada