Brick House

The project rehearses the pairing of a typological approach and a conceptual phenomenological outcome. “Typology” and “installation” assembled as a possible single design technique, with the intention of enhancing the experience of climate, site, and programme.

This is tested by employing a direct and recognizable organizational scheme, in the belief that an enlarged perception of textures, humidity, light or smell is facilitated by a certain legibility and figurative character of architecture, instead of the opposite.

By remaking the typical L-shaped country house disposition, an open-air cluster is attained, one in which the pieces are tied together by a horizontal roof that acts as a large tray, where the main pitched volume is sited and whose underbelly shelters a generous open space, turning the house into a small settlement and encouraging outdoor life during the summer months. Handmade bricks made in the village of Muriedas are employed all over, supporting local production and producing a somehow atavistic imagen.

Water and fire as a dialectical pair are laid together with the intention of grounding experience in a humid climate where rain is omnipresent, and in a family group that regularly gathers around the fire. Thus, a “fire pavilion” is split off from the main house to seclude that singular moment: fire reflected in a dark pond that receives water from the roof’s gutters. Together with the occasional outdoor bonfire, the compound recalls certain moments of XXth century tradition and experimentation like Aalto’s Muuratsalo House or Yves Klein’s fire installations at Mies van der Rohe’s Krefeld Villas.

Architects: GARCIAGERMAN Arquitectos
Team: Jacobo García-Germán, Raquel Díaz de la Campa, Miguel López, Marta Roldán, Jorge Ferrer, María Ramos, Sofía Fuentes, Daphne Vakalopoulou
Consultants: Angel David Moreno (quantity surveyor), Consult-e (structural engineers), Suma Ingeniería Aplicada S.L. (mechanicals)
Builder: Fernandez Rosillo y Cia S.L.
Location: Somoboo, Santander, Spain
Date: 2020
Photography: Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero)


Architects: GARCIAGERMAN Architects


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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…).