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Interior Design

One-person housing

Sara Alonso Quintas

Project year: 


Final Project


This building is located in O Porriño, was built in 1960 and at that time it was a residential house. At present the plot does not have horizontal divisions, because its use is of industrial type, it has a graphic surface of 26 m2 and built of 72 m2. The terrain has a downward slope to the west of approximately 12%, as indicated in the plan the main facade is facing north.

The current use of the building determines that the existing openings are blind, having small entrances of light and natural ventilation. The structure is of concrete blocks, cement mortar cladding and stone ornamentation. The intention of the project is to modify its function and turn it into a residential use, thus recovering the type of residence with which it was created.

The choice of this building starts from the irregular geometry finished in a curve, the location in which it is located, the relationships it has with its surroundings, the multitude of openings in its three facades and also the small dimensions of the site that shapes the building.

The references that inspire this project are small Japanese houses, open spaces, small dimensions, elevation of space and visual freedom. In addition, the concept of housing for this project is understood as, space reduced and developed in height, with independent but related rooms, ie places where different environments intertwine. Characterizing itself by being a house different from the one next door, which is determined by the occupant's way of life, taking into account the way of life as a concept or living only as a social phenomenon. Being a young man of average socioeconomic status who is clear that he is not going to get married, that he is not going to have children and that he will live alone.

The inner void in height, is completed with the idea of using repetition as a method of unification. Through repetition, the set of spaces is unified by feeling always in it, connecting the plants to each other at all times.

Like orientation, light plays a key role in design, although orientation discovers the lines that shape the new configuration of the building, thus linking light with vertical communication, justifying through orientation the situation and inclination. of the staircase, providing in turn the vertical circulation of light with the staircase itself creating an attic, managing with this idea to create a transparent and fully permeable interior, so the project connects all the rooms separated in height.

The old shell remains as the envelope of the house, and the new structure will be built in relation to the existing one. Taking as reference the -balloon frame-, wooden construction composed by a structure in which the repetition of small strips is used, grouping them and forming a great mass, combined in this case also with beams and joists. Combined with six tubular profiles that act as a turning point between an industrialized exterior and a friendlier interior. Apart from being used as support points for the upper slabs, avoiding increasing the thickness of the inner transoms, thus maintaining an optimal useful surface. They also serve as a hostel for facilities, leading them from the lower to the upper floor. Having the six pillars, the loads are distributed creating a mixed structure -wood and metal- in which all the structural elements collaborate.

The exclusive use of wood as a building material, insulating and finishing, is intended to comply with the principles of sustainability and simplicity.

Interior design

The house is designed for a single person, based on the basic principle that the body is always a reference. The structure of the space in this house is both small and infinite. Given that size and scale, beyond patterns and measurements or any other standard, are relative.

The design of the space is based on the inclination of all the elements of new construction. Apart from configuring the space, it perfectly divides the rooms, leaving services and open areas grouped on opposite sides, allowing in turn to respect the openings of the existing carpentry, with wide openings without generating conflicting spaces. In addition to providing spaces in which to house furniture and above all to drive the facilities in an orderly manner.

The building has been designed in such a way that the rooms are generated according to the type of privacy and use, which will be maintained from the semi-basement to the second floor. The heart of the building is centered on the staircase, this being the structural element that communicates some floors with others, but also serving as a division between rooms.

This element consists of three entities — the first steps clad in beech plywood, a white marble rest that continues in plan to become a work surface, and the main staircase in white lacquered steel. Placing the latter

stretch under a large attic, making it a central element of housing. In addition a connection between plants is provided generating the grouping of services in the back part of the building.

The interior of the building should have the feeling of home, in contrast to the exterior appearance, but maintaining the continuity of the envelope, being a regular skin. In addition to maintaining a reduction in materials, thus allowing the versatility and flexibility of spaces.

The ground floor with its open kitchen area, full of light, allows a variable distribution with the possibility of modification, using this feature throughout the building. The first floor offers a feeling of greater intimacy, at the same time, throughout it, the goal is to achieve a large relaxation area, taking advantage of it as well as living room, laundry and bathroom. The second floor with a private approach, which offers a work / rest / workshop and bedroom area.

The intermediate areas are used as communication areas, with storage and vertical circulation, forming the central link of the design. The upper level floor of the storage area extends from the countertop area to the stairwell, doubling on the ground floor and first floor. This allows you to optimize the feeling of space by integrating these functions. It is understood as open, permeable and visually light space.

From a long-term perspective, the interior with its separate cores is designed in such a way that the layout of the house could be easily transformed, always remaining fixed to the rear service and storage area. The configuration of the project offers various design possibilities around the different levels of privacy for the linked functions in each floor.

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