Comillas House

Given the characteristically deep plan typical of these originally rural lots, the new distribution takes advantage of this elongation by organizing autonomous episodes along the building’s section, fitted for a required intense use during the summer months. This piling up culminates in a double-height living room on the top floor, suitable for social gatherings, and where much-sought views towards mountains and sea are reached.

The sea’s focus is made explicit in the new north façade, which lightens up in an upward sequence topped by a lookout, in a contemporary version of the restored south façade. The inversion of the conventional hierarchy between programmes, with the placement of the social areas on top, makes up for the houses tight urban constrains but also stages an organizational diagram which prompts a playful use of these spaces.

In contrast with this massive stone-walled architecture, the general tone of interior finishes relies in extensive use of natural wood and pastel tones with reconstructions of the original banisters, loggia and other elements.

In contrast with this massive stone-walled architecture, the general tone of interior finishes relies in extensive use of natural wood and pastel tones with reconstructions of the original banisters, loggia and other elements.

The initial ruin contained a set of glazed tiles in its façade, relocated from the nearby El Capricho Palace, built in the XIXth century by Antonio Gaudí. These pieces were originally placed, in 1884 and in the exact position where they have now been restored, by Antonio Bona, an italian, the house’s first owner and who was also El Capricho’s master builder. The retrieval of these tiles, together with the design of the house’s new smokestacks, fortifies the bond and memory between the ancestral typology of this architecture and the extraordinary cultural flourishment of Art-Nouveau in Comillas, still a major feature of this small town’s charm.

Architects: GARCIAGERMAN Arquitectos
Team: Jacobo García-Germán, Raquel Díaz de la Campa, Miguel López, Marta Roldán, Jorge Ferrer, Iván Corbacho, María Salán, Paloma Mayor, Jaime Silva
Consultants: Angel David Moreno (quantity surveyor), Aguanaz (structural engineers), Suma Ingeniería Aplicada S.L. (mechanicals)
Builder: Hermanos Vega Diaz Rehabilitaciones S.L
Location: Comillas, Santander, Spain
Cliente: Private
Date: 2020
Photography: Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero)

Arquitectos: GARCIAGERMAN Arquitectos


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Jacobo García-Germán (1974) is an architect by the Madrid Polytechnic (2000, ETSAM), MA Master in Histories & Theories of Architecture by the Architectural Association School of Architecture (2003), London and PhD doctor (2010, European Doctor) by the Madrid Polytechnic (ETSAM) (cum laude). Since 2004 he is associated teacher in the architectural design department at ETSAM, currently teaching in the Thesis PFC Group directed by professor Juan Herreros.

He has taught in Universidad Javeriana Bogotá (2007-2009), FebelCem Antwerp (2008), Lasalle Tarragona (2009), Escola da Cidade Sao Paulo (2010), Architecture Faculty Ljubljana (2010), Católica de Lima (2012), Escuela de Arquitectura de Pamplona (2012), and Camilo José Cela (2003) and UPSAM (2012) Universities in Madrid. He is co-founder of the Symmetries ( teaching platform for workshops & congresses; Split (2011), Rome (2012) and Lisbon (2012). He is Teaching Curator for Arquitectura Ibérica, Fundación Arquitectura y Sociedad (2012-).

After working in the office of Rafael Moneo (1998-2001), he established GARCIAGERMAN ARQUITECTOS ( in 2003, an office devoted to the exploitation of practical opportunities connecting the fields of education and research with those of building activity. The office has obtained 14 national or international prizes and its built work has won Prizes in the Madrid Town Hall’s Architecture and Urbanisms Prizes in 2001 and 2007. Europan 9’s First Prize Nacka Rings project has been selected as one of the 28 best realizations of Young Spanish Architecture at the Arquía/Próxima Forum 2008. In 2009, the experimental housing project Prototipo Periférico Nº2 was selected for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2009. The office’s work is currently exhibited in the Galería de Arquitectura El Croquis in El Escorial, Madrid, and has been included in different collective exhibitions.

Jacobo García-Germán has curated the exhibitions APFC-ASAP (Madrid ETSAM, 2010) and Madrid Arhitektura (Ljubljana T5 Project Space, 2010) presenting the collective academic results of his teaching activity. He has lectured in different forums and institutions worldwide and his texts and works have been published in specialised books and magazines (Oris, Verb-Actar, Arquitectura Viva, Arquitectos CSAE, Pasajes, CIRCO, On Diseño, AArchitecture, BAU…).