This is an exercise in architecture which brilliantly and efficiently resolves a compositional exercise which consists of resolving a compositional proposal of contemporary characteristics, within the framework of an environment protected as an Asset of Cultural Interest.
Located at the foot of the Gredos Sierra, Oropesa boasts an extensive view that spans white peaks and olive groves. It is known for its castle, constructed in 1402 as residence for a family of Toledo nobility, who undertook the construction of an uncompleted aerial connection between the castle and the Nuestra señora de la Asunción Church, supported by the arches and walls which cross the city, into which the homes were embedded.
Initially, there were three small homes divided between several ruined premises, sharing two patios behind one façade, which was preserved unaltered and was crossed by wide brick arches. The interior of the homes was lacking in windows that provided sufficient ventilation and illumination, and given the premise of preserving the façades, the project opens a patio-breach within, which is long and narrow and arranges the two different homes for the two brothers on each side. The longitudinal patio incorporates a new view of the 16th century church tower on one of its extremes, acting as a backdrop and an organising element, and providing the intervention with natural light. Both homes open on to the central patio which also maintains the Toledo masonry of the walls, and one gives out on to a small private patio.
The walls of the patio, which were severely damaged at the base, are complemented with an exposed brick skirting, and brick is also used as the sole paving material for the patio. The restored walls are painted in a light colour, in keeping with the sandy tones of the brick, in order to provide the homes with natural illumination and preserve the natural textures of the surroundings. Inside the homes the lightly-coloured masonry has also been preserved, as well as the sheet steel staircases.
The roofs were dismantled and rebuilt to be one metre higher, reusing the tiles, in order to gain interior height while maintaining the existing wooden gable structure which is visible from the inside. The two volumes are linked by the two imposing brick arch walls, which are listed. An existing window on the main façade opens on to the new patio, where the old water well was preserved, providing a brand new view of the church.