The home can be understood as a group of 30 identical “ruin-boxes”, with no assigned function, stacked following “timeless” criteria (orientation, rows, privacy gradation, circulations, views and the changing relationship with external spaces) generating a variety of situations. Later on, the occupant, with the strategy of the hermit crab, will fit out the spaces with less durable services. As if he was conquering a preexisting building, timeless in character.

There are, therefore, two moments when approaching a restoration: one, the “ruin” component, the most perennial. A three-dimensional sponge made of porous concrete orders the space by means of rooms and limits. It is configured following patterns proven over time. It forms the solid shell, a matrix of simple cells with interior space which resists being expanded by aggregation. Animated by canopies that, as spatial-structural elements, define light cubes in different positions of the house, completing the ruin. And two, the “enabling” element, the fit-outer.

The occupation is understood as additions made upon a given spatial-structural grid. The user has a starting point from which to make his home. In each space things happen, defined by him. Here is where, in contrast with the “ruin”, the “enabling” element appears, more perishable, allowing for changes over time.

From the start, we have the idea that we are designing a house for the next client after this one. Or the next after the next, and so on infinitely, like in a story by Borges. We are making, according to O. Fogué, science fiction. “The architect attempts to scientifically define something about which he will never know the life it will lead in the real world. Future situations, fictitious ones.”

Location: Requena, Spain
Architects: Crux Arquitectos & Manuel Cerdá Pérez
Year: 2017
Photo: Milena Villalba

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