Images credit Javier Callejas, courtesy Herreros Arquitectos
Spanish architects Herreros Arquitectos have completed phase one of what Avi Friedman called a Grow Home, which he defined as "a quality product that allows both the perimeter and interior of a house to be expanded and changed to fit the space needs and budget of its owners. Frills are extra." It is a prefab built with simple, cheap materials, inside and out.
It is a bit tougher to move prefabs in Spain; the maximum module size that can be moved down the road (3m wide, 2.50m high, and up to 12m long) is a lot smaller than in North America. (15'6 or 4.8m wide, 12' or 3.6m high, 60' or 20m long, varying a bit by state and province) so they have to chop their prefabs into smaller bits. So while it looks much like a single module of an American prefab, The video shows it being made from eight pieces. They then wrap it in an exterior skin to seal it up.
It is a lovely, simple form. The architects write:
Garoza House 10.1 is conceived as an industrialized, scalable and growing prototype, which is adapted to its users´ basic and specific requirements, and that is ready to become larger as do their needs and interests. This first phase has been designed around a large double-height interior space, that houses all the primary and daytime typical functions, live, cook and eat. For the moment, corners, mezzanines and transition spaces become the places to sleep, work and store. Outside the house, a non-proportional terrace is used as an observatory, but also as a piece of the artificial landscape created by the house. This house doesn´t acquire a piece of land for gardening, nor aims to modify Nature at all, but leaves the ground untouched by letting its weight rest on a few legs, which show how softly and carefully it was planned to dialogue with an admired landscape.
Building this house at specialized factories, using 3m wide modules because of the road transportation limits, moving it to its specific location in one day, respecting the original landscape, planning construction phases without disturbing the previous ones,... all of this shows how concerned the house is about a "urban" technical quality. Conceiving an object according to contemporary aesthetics and technology, and placing it into the Nature is a gesture that is closer to art more than to the tradition of "building the house" as the classic method of appropriating the place. Rising from the ground and staring at the horizon, instead of breaking the ground and burying the roots in it, the house prefers extolling the horizontal scenery to looking for the sublime connection between the earth and the sky. Dialogue against conquer.
Everything is kept minimalist and simple by having lots of storage, made accessible by the moving library ladder.
More images and plans at Herreros Arquitectos
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