Family houses

Liérganes, Santander

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Rehabilitation and enlargement of a dwelling in Rubalcaba

Carlos de Riaño, arquitecto

Description Technical file

This rehabilitation and enlargement project on an existing building has been undertaken in a typical rural highland region. It is based on a strategy of volumetric juxtaposition that has led from the construction of a building to the design of an urban spot.

The plot is situated in the neighbourhood ofRubalcaba, Liérganes, presenting a façade to what used to be the Camino Real, the Royal Road, which ran parallel to the current road to San Roque de Riomiera.

The construction which is the subject of this project overlooks an open space which, by all appearances, was probably a square before the aforementioned road was laid out and detached and sunk the magnificent chapel of Santa María La Blanca. It is a typically mountainous rural setting, quite distorted by the misguided intervention on the nearby buildings.

The existing building, in a ruinous state and almost a hundred and twenty years old, had no artistic interest but it did have enough of the dignity of the anonymous and popular architecture etched in the memory of many generations, and its demolitionwould have altered the landscape even further. This is why the owner and the architect eventually decided to conserve and make use of it.

However, the programme could not be accommodated into the interior. It worked as the main building but needed the support of two new pavilions to complete its functional requirements. One on one side, with a square ground plan and two storeys intended for garage and library and another one on the other side, with a rectangular ground plan and two storeys intended for housing the utilities, wine cellar and guest rooms. The slope of the terrain half-buries these volumes, which are arranged like natural platforms and open directly onto the back garden, via the guest pavilion in the former case and via the sun terrace-bridge in the case of the main building.

The idea of extending the volume of the main building was finally dismissed in favour of adding two extensions with separate uses and compositions but connected by bridges so as to make less of an impact on the rural surroundings. The result is a small complex in keeping with traditional mountain architecture. The house is accessed from the street via a walled yard around the old building and the garage/library pavilion. A covered space between the two affords visitors a magnificent view of the “Peña Pelada” mountain, the valley’s magic mountain, before entering the house.

The two pavilions are closed off with sandstone ashlar stones and their roofs, one sloped and the other peaked, were finished in regular stone slabs, an habitual practice in this mountain setting.

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Localización Location: Barrio de Rubalcaba, Liérganes (Cantabria). Spain. Arquitecto Autor Architect Author: Carlos de Riaño Lozano. Colaboradores Proyecto Project Collaborators: Diego Hernández, Arquitecto, Jesús Rodriguez, Delineante, Juana Jurado. Dirección de ejecución Works execution director: Manuel Díaz pardo. Dirección de obra Site director: Carlos de Riaño Lozano, Patricia Hernández Tejada. Ingeniería instalaciones Facilities Engineering: Aguilera Ingenieros. Estructuras Structures: Luis Cuevas Ingenieros. Constructor Contractor: Doprican, Domingo Prieto. Fecha del proyecto Project Date: 2010. Fecha de la obra Completion: 2012. Superficie Area: 654 m2. Fotografía Photography: Imagen Subliminal - Miguel de Guzmán.
Carlos De Riaño Lozano
Miguel De Guzmán