Casa Torre en Madrid
by Carolina González Vives
Architect: Carolina González Vives
Cristina Delgado Herráiz
Alberto Heras Hernández
Mónica Ruiz Rituerto
David Rodrigo Silgado
Aparejador: Javier Reñones Marín
The construction of this house occupies a land near the Manzanares river basin. This small
building is inserted into the landscape corridor that runs through the metropolitan area from
the Madrid highlands, close to the great mass of vegetation of Ciudad Universitaria and the
intersection with the first city beltway M30, which occupies the historic riverbed La Veguilla.
It arises with a clear vertical will, more uncomfortable for a domestic program, but interesting
for an observatory-turret. We look for two complementary relationships with the landscape:
tangible contact with the ground, so primitive, and visual domination, really powerful from the
upper platform. And a simple and solid exterior volume: a single faceted prism with soft angles,
giving a dynamic, sequential image.
This approach, reducing floor occupancy, results in a sloping garden wider than expected,
configured as a tiered theater that begins inside the house, where public events of all kinds
have already been held
The ground floor has three large legs, the glass enclosures slide and disappear and the green of
the landscape enters and colors all the surfaces, forming a large exterior canopy over the
terraces. The ambition is to continue interiors and exteriors, to erase the limits
A coating of glazed ceramic pieces forms an insulating and waterproof coat that qualifies the
main facade. With a flat inner face and a concave outer face with a certain volume, their
sequence gives rise to an undulating texture activated by the movement of the sun, forming
changing shadows throughout the day.
The outline of the plant is quite adapted to that of the plot, fitting the building in the upper
part. Internally it is organized into two converging blocks, leaving a void between them that
connects the different levels, generating a vertical air draft that facilitates the natural cooling
of the house.
The bedrooms, however, adopt a smooth geometry, without edges, 33white and neutral
spaces, where the gray color is used to re-draw the own shadows. These three rounds are
separated from each other by the wet rooms, finished with brightly colored tiles, which give
these small spaces a clear identity within the complex.
The carving of the floor is also important regarding the water and energy performance. The
terraces reduce the speed of the runoff and increase wáter absortion in the thickness of the
soil. Pavements and channels lead the water to two storage tanks, that include on-site
treatment systems for reuse.
The rustic brick hydrophilic floor is connected to a recycled water irrigation network so that
when it is soaked, it works as a cold radiant surface in summer, protected by the pergolas of
forthcoming construction. Its microporous texture is optimal for evaporative cooling, it
conserves water for a longer time and through evaporation reduces its temperature and that of
the nearby air, in the shade of the vine.
Carolina Gonzalez Vives
Ojo de Pez Arquitectura
+34 91 542 10 46
Calle Leganitos 1, 1º dcha. Madrid 28013
Ojo de Pez Arquitectura was founded in 2005 by Carolina González Vives as a professional practice focused on architecture and design at different scales. Our work looks for synergies and links between design practice and environmental issues, based on innovation, technology and creativity.
Our office affords a very wide scope of professional requests, with a flexible team of specialists in different areas. The quality of our work is based on a wide experience as well as in a solid and continuous research, developed simultaneously through academic activities and publications in international media. Since 2009 Carolina is associated teacher in the architectural design department at Universidad de Alcalá, and currently teaching in the Master de Arquitectura del Paisaje, Universidad San Pablo Ceu and in the Master in City Sciences, UPM. She has been visiting fellow at AridLands Institute in Los Ángeles, California.
The office production has been widely published and exhibited and has received several national awards