Casa Llana
by Héctor Navarro + ARKHITEKTON

The rural landscape of Cantabria presents very unequal situations. During the last decades, some areas have been negatively affected as a result of a rapid growth, while others have managed to preserve their urban identity shaped by the vernacular architecture of the place, mainly built in stone, wood and sloping red ceramic tile roofs.

The project starts from a previous investigation on the traditional typology of the Llana house, an exercise that aims to explore contemporary solutions that value the vernacular. This typology is identified in dwellings. It is a single-storey house built between two stone gables and a gabled roof. Spatially, the solana is the most characteristic spatial resource of the Llana house. It is a covered space located in the sunniest orientation, destined to the development of all those activities that take place outdoors, agricultural and livestock.

The project starts from the scheme of this typology. A gabled house is projected, with a clear longitudinal character. To the north and south, two masonry gables frame the construction, reserving the east and west facades for glass and wood solutions. Both gables have different gaps that manage to colonize the north and south sides of the plot.

The private rest spaces are located in the west band and in parallel, the common areas organized in a hybrid solana partially glazed. The porch is located on the south facade, while the north is used as the entrance area to the house. Between one and the other, living room, dining room and kitchen. This continuous space and the entrance are articulated by a closed wooden box that houses a facility room.

In order to be able to understand the common areas as a solana, it is necessary to project a continuous space defined by a glass facade with hidden frames and coincident joints with the structure of wooden pillars on the facade that intends to disappear. Between the porch and the living room, a black volume houses the fireplace, allowing to organize the furniture facing the outside and take in the views of the spectacular surroundings. The island kitchen and the dining room form a set that, together with the mirrors on the back wall, reintroduce the surrounding landscape into the interior.

In parallel to this band, three bedrooms and two bathrooms are arranged. Access is made from the common areas, avoiding corridors and articulating the different areas within this continuous space. In the longitudinal axis of the house a mezzanine is projected whose use changes depending on the type of room it complements.

At a construction level, a traditional system is recovered consisting of assembling light wooden frames with integrated insulation. The roof is built using a self-supporting panel system with polyurethane insulation on which a ventilated flat tile roof is installed on battens. The high degree of insulation, the orientation study, the compact nature of the construction and the installation of an aerothermal equipment complete a home with almost zero consumption that aims to be a sustainable proposal in which the traditional and contemporary construction systems merge.


Architecture: Héctor Navarro + ARKHITEKTON.
Team: Héctor Navarro + Carlos Navarro
Consultants: Aser Moris Rodriguez,
Collaborators: Tomás Rojo, Laura Fernández, Avelia Chomón
Client: Private
Built Area: 143 m2
Location: Lamadrid, Cantabria. España
Date: 2020
Photography: Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero)

Architects: Hector Navarro

Héctor Navarro (1986) is an architect and doctor cum laude from the Polytechnic University of Madrid. Extraordinary award for the doctoral thesis “Symbiosis and borders between architecture and contemporary urban spaces”. He is an associate professor at ETSAM and CSDMM (Polytechnic University of Madrid). She carries out her professional and research work from Madrid and Cantabria.

The study was founded in 2014 after winning the competition for the construction of Plaza Tetuán-Amaliach. It has also won other contests such as Plaza Fuente Real (Comillas). Currently the office develops projects in Madrid and Cantabria.


Since 2007, he collaborates with Manuel Blanco, director of the ETSAM, designing and curating exhibitions and museum installations. “Grandes Encuadernaciones” (Royal Palace of Madrid), “Campo Baeza, the creation tree” (MAXXI-Roma, Gallery MA-Tokio), “A city called Spain” (Pinacoteca Nacional-Atenas, Central House of Artists-Moscow)

Since 2014, he has collaborated with the ARKHITEKTON architecture studio for the development of projects in Cantabria.

Other projects from the architect