Agency of Narrative Architecture Z4A
TB HOUSE –work in progress-
Situation: A complex family -formed by a young woman married with a man passionate by the Wild West, two sons in common and a daughter of him- was looking for a new house –or houses– that could represent their trips around the world, their aesthetic tastes (poles apart) and some topics that could arrive over the course of the construction.
Some notes: The TB House is a private house of three floors over a toboggan looking front at nowhere and turning left to Madrid’s landmark: “The Four Towers” // The project overlaps two houses leaving a void for the car parking in between // The lower floor is constructed underground: two large parallel concrete walls cut the soil to accommodate a couple of rectangular rooms. These rooms are connected by a corridor that becomes a Showcase for an empty and light space, or as the property says, a patio // Even Mies would have felt bored about it // In the South, there is one garden, and in the north a dramatic landscape over a big slope // In the South does exist an image of the “good life” depicted by a carpet of green grass and a swimming pool that wants to be a mirror. In the north an “erotic imagery” composed by a picturesque garden is composed by grottos and wild vegetation // Over the level of this intimate life, a flat surface let the nature to continue; the car egress in a kind of Savoy Villa scheme. Here two connections with the upper floor appear // The upper floor arrived by cranes, cut in pieces and flying over the site // Eleven pieces are composing three tangent cylinders covered by three quite different layers: wood, mirror and an industrial undulated and micro perforated grey, (almost white), plate // Inside of the cylinders the super-interior of the comfort: natural surfaces of wood, cotton, line or silk // Currently everything is almost ready to take off and fly nowhere.
Loose pieces: One house is aware of the soil, the gravity and the weight. The other one is looking for the emancipation of the ground, the lightness, the immanence and the disappearance. Actually, two houses juxtaposed, different in all aspects: materiality, form, awareness of the load. But our real interest is in the third house. The house that appears between the two buried rectangular objects and the three cylindrical elements what compose the flying forms. For us this one is the real thing. It is a fight between contradictions, trying to keep the absence of a gravity centre. The absence of a centre that is neither interior nor exterior.
Dragging it over the floor to taste multiplies and endless gravity centres in a body.
“It looks like the gravity could have the last word, while we are interested and dazzled by the vanity of the surface”
To be continued…
Architects: z4z4 www.z4z4.es
Project Leader: Rafael Beneytez
Construction Architects: Rafael Beneytez, Víctor Cano, Ophelia Mantz
Final Project Team: Rafael Beneytez, Víctor Cano, Ophelia Mantz, Borja Iglesias
Bioclimatic Project: Ophelia Mantz, Elena Oña
Location: Madrid. Spain
Area: 512 sqm
Project year: 2012-2015
Builder: Mario Navarro, Santiago Ibañez (Ars Tectonica)
Assistant builder and administration: Alfonso del Castillo
Structural Engineering: Juan Carlos Arroyo, Ignacio García (Calter) + Rafael Beneytez, Víctor Cano (z4z4)
Modular System: Guillermo Martínez, Luis Martín (Eurobox) + Rafael Beneytez, Víctor Cano (z4z4)
Landscape: Martín Toimil (Land30)
Lighting: Ilumisa + Rafael Beneytez, Víctor Cano (z4z4)
Mechanical System Engineering: Carolo Garrote (Proyecta!)
Photography + Video: ImagenSubliminal (Miguel de Guzman / Rocío Romero)
Calle de los Artistas 26, Bajo B, 28020, Madrid, Spain
Each Table shows the Work in Progress
Z4Z4 + Z4A is an architecture and design office located in Madrid, Spain, and Houston, Texas. Led by co-principals Rafael Beneytez-Duran and Ophelia Mantz, the office is committed to the idea that architecture is a system of thought. Z4A is where ideological, theoretical, and aesthetic matters are assembled. Z4Z4 is where all projects are being developed in technical and material form. From research to writing, from writing to design, from research to writing, and design to teaching. All works are framed over wide tables where assemblies and relationships are designed.
In the Fall of 2015, they traveled to the West Texas – Lubbock – as a base to explore the vast scale of the West and the sublime of the High Plains – landscapes and airscapes over the Ogallala Aquifer. In 2019 they moved to Houston to explore the forms of late capitalism.
Z4A is the author of Airscapes 1, Tobogan House TBH, Castilla y Leon Pavilion PCyL, Huesca Conference and Exhibitions Hall, Listening Tree, Listening Post, Cerro de las Martires Public Park, Uria Office building, Murua between other buildings and awarded competitions.
Their works have been published in magazines such as: DOMUS, MARK, ARQ, ACTAR, Tashen, Architectural Review, Architectural Record, AV magazine, HOUSES, ARQUINE, FUTURE, CENTER 23, PPA, AR20, Pasajes de Arquitectura, TEDx, Diseño Interior, Detail, Con-Arquitectura, BIEAU XI, ArchDaily, Europan, Experimenta, Diseñart, Dezeen, Arch20, Architizer, Bannana Design, Summa+, Archelo, Design Boom, Metalocus, Divisare, Catalogo Diseno, Afasia, Archilovers, Arkitera, Design.Mk, Archinovosti, Idea Msg, Dezain…
ACSA 2019 Faculty Design Award, Build 2019, S.ARCH Award 2018- Best Design Project. -AR Emerging Architecture 2016. Finalist. -Premio Nacional de Parques Públicos de España 2015 – Listening Tree, Spanish Biennial XI 2011. – Olympic City of Baghdad. First Prize. 2010 – Conference Hall of Huesca. First Prize 2005. – Castilla y León Pavilion. First Prize. 2008. – San Andrés Etxea Hotel. First Prize. 2005. – SEGO. First Prize. 2007. – Experimental Theater CMC en Getafe. 2007. – Centro de Gestión del Deporte en Leganés. 3rd Prize. 2009. – Europan 10. Taboadella. Awarded, 2010. – Hospedería de Turismo en Castuera. Awarded. 2009. – Hospedería de Turismo en Herrera de Duque. Awarded. 2010.
Rafael Beneytez Durán,
Founder of Z4A in 2010 and Director of Undergraduate Architecture as Associate Professor at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design, University of Houston, Texas, where he teaches design Studios and Technology courses. Rafael B. Duran completed his BArch and MArch studies in architecture at the School of Architecture of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (ETSAM-UPM) in 1998 and awarded PhD by ETSAM-UPM in 2016., awarded with recognition. He has worked with architect Rafael Moneo as projects director from 1999 to 2007. He has taught at ETSAM, ESAyT, Architectural Association, and the College of Architecture at Texas Tech University, as well as lectured and guest critic at many different venues in places such as: Rice University, Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, University of Texas Austin, University of Virginia, University of Syracuse, Pratt Institute, Würzburg University, Germany, ETSAB University, El Vallés Architecture School, GSD Harvard-Career Discovery, Segovia, Münster, Porto, Delft, Limerick, Newark NJ, Lubbock TX, College Station TX, El PasoTX or Houston TX
Rafael B. Duran´s practice spans the fields of architecture design, architecture technology and architecture theory. His PhD. dissertation, titled Atmosphere as Form in Architecture, explores the idea of atmosphere in the context of design practices from 1818 to present.
His work has been recognized and awarded at the Architectural Review Emerging Architecture 2016 (Finalist), S.ARCH 2018, COAM 2016 Award (Finalist), 2016 London Biennale Manila Pollination, 2016 London Transart Triennale, 2016 The Architecture and Design Film Festival New York, 3rd Istanbul Design Biennale 2016, Spanish National Award of Public Parks and Gardens 2015, XI Spanish Architecture and Urban Design Biennale 2011.
Rafael B. Duran´s works have been published in Books and Magazines such as: DOMUS, MARK, ARQ, ACTAR, Architectural Review, Architectural Record, CENTER 23, AV magazine, ARQUINE, FUTURE, Detail, Tashen or Pasajes de Arquitectura; as well as by Media such as: Dezeen, Arch20, Architizer, Bannana Design, Archelo, Design Boom, Metalocus, Divisare, Afasia, or Archilovers.
B. Duran has been teaching at the College of Architecture of Texas Tech University (CoA-TTU), Architectural Association (AA), Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid (ETSAM-UPM), and Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura (ESAyT-UCJC) as director of Theory, Aesthetics, Composition Program
Ophélia Mantz Architect DPLG, École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville, ENSA -PB, France, 2002, Master in Bioclimatic Architecture and Sustainability, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid, Spain, 2015. Her line of research focuses on the construction of ecological thinking in the field of architecture and the city. Together with Rafael Beneytez, she co-directs the Z4Z4 AAA Practice (Architects Activities Associated). She is a professor and director of the Material Research Center at the School of Architecture, Gerald D Hines College of Architecture and Design at the University of Houston, Texas, U.S.A. She has participated as guest critic at School of Architecture Rice University, Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, University of Texas Austin, University of Virginia School of Architecture and University of Cambridge.
Her work has been recognized and awarded at the Architectural Review Emerging Architecture 2016 (Finalist), S.ARCH 2018, COAM 2016 Award (Finalist), 2016 London Biennale Manila Pollination, 2016 London Transart Triennale, 2016 The Architecture and Design Film Festival New York, 3rd Istanbul Design Biennale 2016 and Spanish National Award of Public Parks and Gardens 2015.
Rafael Beneytez, Ophelia Mantz, Enrique Krahe, Arancha Montero
Xiuyin Hu, James Taylor, Shakil Shimul, Franco Denari, Caleb Matheson, Steve Roop, Daisy Limon, Javier Cardoso, Ilia Reyes, Victor Cano-Ciborro, Paul Galindo, Eva Gil Lopesinos, Diego Barajas, Esau Acosta, Mauro Gil-Fournier, Cristina Romero, Alejandro Martin Mate, Borja Iglesias, Ana Belen Santos, Ignacio Rodriguez, Sara Orcasitas, Raquel Limeres, Marcos Rojas, Juan Manuel Nicas, Piet Jacobs, Emilio Jarrin, Marcel Noeding, Jeremie Koempgen, Noah Jaffe, Ethan Pound, Yara Baello, Puy Luengo, Marina Llés, Beatriz Sendin, Sara Carrasco, Pilar Penacho, Maria Payo, Jose Rayos, Andrea Ramos, Ismael Aboli, Marcos Zaragoza, Chema Silva, Barbara Baron, Monica Sedano, Francisco Blanco, Camille Vidal, Anne Voght, Tania Fonseca, Pablo Grande de Roda, Pedro Lopez Quintas, Lucila Lorenzale, Javier Armanda…