by Arenas Basabe Palacios

Two sisters entrust us the construction of two houses as a home for their growing families. The houses will be like their owners, sisters. Arranged next to each other they show evident features in common but present different personalities.

The ‘sister houses’ follow equivalent design processes. A system of white concrete walls organizes the lower floors defining this way a path of flowers at the entrance, open gardens to south and playgrounds to north.

In the first floor, two ‘dissimilar’ objects settle on the walls completing the building to give a specific character to each house. One uses the natural wood in the large frames of its facades turning this way the windows into paintings of the landscape outside. The other house uses this material in the interior, organizing the house around a wooden core that works as the heart of the house.

The above mentioned nucleus not only gathers the communication area in three levels of the house, but hides services, storage and facilities after a continuous birch paneling, wrapping ladders, doors and cabinets under a common character.

Going through the wood core, we can point out that the day areas on the ground floor and the night spaces on the upper floor open to the exterior through large panels of glass. Also, the material continuity of roof and floor blurs the limits of the housing.

In the sister house, however, the exterior wooden large frames and panels of natural wood define the limit of the house, framing the landscape of the environment to incorporate it into the interior space.

In contrast with the presence of the exterior wood, neutral lines in white and transparent walls turn the interior spaces into a customizable canvas for its inhabitants.

The value of houses, like the sisters, is strengthened by being together, always one in relation to the other, turning two apparently individual projects into one of dual character.

Architects: Enrique Arenas, Luis Basabe, Luis Palacios
Collaborators: Lucía Leva, Lidia Fernández, Andreas Benéitez, María Amigo, María Ángeles Peñalver
Aparejadora: Yolanda García
Contractor: ECAY Construcciones
Surface: 830 m2
Location: Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid.
Client: Private
Date: 2018
Photography: Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero)

Architects: Arenas Basabe Palacios
+34 911 427 075
Plaza del Cordón 2, 5º Izq
28005, Madrid, SPAIN

Enrique Arenas Laorga (1974), architect (ETSAM, Madrid) and Doctor Cum Laude (UPM Madrid, 2006) . He has developed projects in very different areas: rehabilitations, housing, institutional and events. He has held lectures at several academic institutions, and taught as professor at the European Institute of Design in  Madrid (IED).

Luis Basabe Montalvo (1975), architect graduated at the TU Graz. He was visiting professor at Dipartimento di Architettura e Studi Urbani (DAStU) at Politecnico di Milano, since 2003 he teaches design studio at ETSAM as associate professor. He was guest researcher and guest lecturer at various Universities: RWTH Aachen (Germany), Cambridge (UK) and CEPT Ahmedabad (India).

Luis Palacios Labrador (1983), architect graduated at ETSAM (Madrid, 2009), Master in Advanced Innovation and Technology (ETSAM, 2011) and Doctor Cum Laude (UPM, 2017). He currently teaches design studio as an associated professor. He worked in the Netherlands, investigated in Berlin and held lectures and workshops in India and UK.

arenas basabe palacios is a young architecture and urbanism studio based in Madrid. Its partners Enrique Arenas Laorga, Luis Basabe Montalvo and Luis Palacios Labrador are working together since 2006 and won about thirty prizes in architecture and urbanism competitions since 2006. They gave lectures in diverse institutions and presented their work and investigation in international exhibitions. Their work was publicated in Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, US, Austria, Germany, Cyprus, India and Corea.