sola house
by gon

‘There is another world, but it is in this one’ Paul Éluard

Living alone is a common form of domesticity that has been increasing in European cities that responds to a new social organization that is typical of the most developed cultures, which has consequences on the ‘traditional’ ways of living. This argument is the starting point of the reform of a 40 m2 apartment located near the Puerta del Sol that, Dany, a retired French woman living in Paris, with two grown children, a lover of tango, wine and technology, and fascinated by Madrid, acquires to live alone and settle in at different times of the year.

Instead of the idea of separated rooms and corridors, as it was in the original house, this small and individual pied à terre is projected and organized as a single room where the entire domestic program, no matter public or private, is connected by a gray porcelain floor. The most emblematic feature of this house is a chest-cabinet lacquered in a blue RAL 5005 that adapts like a glove to the space and is located in the heart of the house; it contains and brings together the storage of the house and hides inside a secret room: the bathroom. This space for the care and maintenance of the body is naturally illuminated and visually connected to the bedroom through a large interior window that changes its opacity according to the privacy needed at different moments.

Dany’s house seeks to be a good house for a good life, either alone or accompanied. An expanded and enlarged home, rich in details and that, in very few square meters, has the ability to adapt to different space-time situations: from meeting with friends, inviting her children for a season or simply enjoying the space alone; the house is an optimistic and contemporary urban refuge where to live the Madrid dream.


Architecture: gon
Team: Carol Linares, María Cecilia Cordero, Cristina Ramirez, Iván Rando, Kostís Toulgaridis
Constructión: Serviteco Obras s.l
Carpentry: Cortizo, Velux (ventana de tejado)
Kitchen: Barronkress s.l
Metal work: Rótulos Argoneón S.L.U.
Lighting: Oliva Iluminación s.a
Client: Privado
Built Area: 40m2
Location: Madrid
Date: 2021
Photography: Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero)

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.