Integral reform of a penthouse in the neighborhood of Conde Duque in Madrid

Hedonism and pleasure are possibly the two concepts most present in many of the decisions which were made in order to redesign this penthouse. The house, which is for a person who lives alone, is located in the center of Madrid.

Traditionally, domestic space has been exclusively thought as a functional organization. This house considers also real and imagined aspects: it is now projected as a diffuse space, free of partitions, where the boundaries between rooms are blurred so that any unexpected events can happen.

Different sensations define the function of each area such as smell, touch and sight that are the fundamental elements of construction; in like manner it is made of the desire to produce and consume experiences that are to come, in solitude or with company, such as sitting by the fire in the fireplace in the winter, bathing in the pool with the windows open, reading on the terrace in the middle of the vegetation or seeing the stars on the roof on a warm summer night.

The body is the protagonist of all these dreams that develop in a mutable hybrid space, halfway between a loft and a matryoshka. The actions of cooking, eating, sleeping, doing exercise, interacting with others, working or resting, take place in a free space they are defined by the shape and position of the objects with certain scenographic conditions. The cleaning and care of the body are carried out in a set of connected rooms in the heart of the house.

The storage system, a wooden chest-cabinet that occupies the center of the house, is the link between both worlds. It is an element of play: it hides a secret access to the bathroom between its doors, setting the scene of a place for surprise and mystery in the house.

The interior space is bordered by a longitudinal planter of more than ten meters in length with two adjourning terraces facing south. They are green landscapes set up as artificial devices that dissolve the boundaries between the public and the private, the interior and the exterior and the house and the city.

All this is my house, the one I need. A home that, far from being a space of representation and appearance, seeks above all the celebration of life.


Arquitecto: gon-Gonzalo Pardo
Colaboradores: Alejandro Sánchez, Clara Dios
Construcción: Alejandro Ruíz. serviteco obras sl
Carpintería: Mariano García. Alma Ebanistería sl
Cocina: Victoria González. Vonna
Fotografía: Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero)
Año: 2017
Ubicación: Madrid
Cliente: Privado
Superficie: 121,5 m2

Architects: gon architects

Calle San Lucas 6, 2º D
28004, Madrid, SPAIN

gon is a Madrid-based architecture and design office headed by Gonzalo Pardo since 2014. His practice focuses on research and development of singular architectural projects of different scales ranging from urban planning to buildings to interior construction.

The common denominator of his works is a playful, experimental, critical and optimistic view of the contemporary. In a constant dialogue based on observation and details, his interest focuses on the creative processes of architectural design and construction, as well as the role of mediation and communication of architecture as fundamental vehicles for transforming the world into a place more sustainable, worthy and free.

Gonzalo Pardo is an architect from ETSAM (School of Architecture of Madrid) since 2007, and has a PhD in Architecture since 2016. His thesis “Body and House: Towards the contemporary domestic space from the transformations of the kitchen and bathroom in the West” obtained the outstanding Cum Laude rating, and received for it the 2016-2017 Extraordinary Doctoral Thesis Award and an honorable mention in the XI call for the Arquia Foundation Thesis Contest.

Since 2007 he teaches as a visiting professor at different universities and institutions, in subjects with the common denominator of being linked to the project, as in the European Institute of Design (IED), in Madrid; the Illiois Institute of Technology (IIT), in Chicago, United States; Lund University, in Sweden, and the Master in Collective Housing (MCH), in Madrid. He has been a professor in the Master in Architectural Communication (MaCA) and in the Master in Advanced Projects (MPAA) of the Department of Architectural Projects at ETSAM.

He is currently an associate professor in the Department of Architectural Projects at ETSAM, where he teaches undergraduate projects. Member of the Hypermedia research group: Communication Workshop and Architectural Configuration, he directs doctoral theses as a teacher and researcher, as well as numerous End of Master’s Projects (TFM) and Final Degree Projects (TFG).

He has been deputy curator of the Spanish pavilion at the 16th Venice Biennale, and since 2000 he has obtained 41 national and international awards, including the first prize for the remodeling of the AZCA block in Madrid in 2007; the second prizes in the international Skyscraper contests, in New York, and Velux, in Denmark, in 2007; COAM award in 2014 for the Paréntesis curator cycle, and honorable mention in the Europan 14 competition at the Barcelona location. His projects and built work have been widely disseminated in national and international, physical and virtual media.