by Pooja Suresh HollannavarAug 15, 2023
The essence of a house extends beyond its physicality; it encapsulates dreams, protection, and peaceful reflection. La Posada, located in the historic Los Riscos neighbourhood of Galaroza in Spain stands as an evidence to this sentiment. The building has transitioned several times since its existence, having served as a dwelling for medieval Christian settlers and a cherished mountain retreat for a Sevillian family in 1993. However, its most recent transformation under the vision of Spanish firm inN arquitectura elevated it into a unique amalgamation of a residence and a studio, heralding a new era for this iconic structure.
In 2012, the studio decided to establish a contemporary architectural studio in a mountain town. This was a bold choice. Conventional wisdom dictated central urban locations, yet inN arquitectura defied norms by acknowledging the evolving dynamics of delivery, transportation, and communication systems. This acknowledgement facilitated the establishment of professional spaces in ecologically pristine settings, nurturing a new creative paradigm inspired by tradition.
The seamless integration of living and working spaces encourages introspection into the symbiotic relationship between creativity and daily life. The once-stigmatised practice of working from home has evolved, more so after the COVID-19 pandemic, engaging the conscious balance between personal and professional realms. inN arquitectura embraced this challenge by crafting ambiguous spaces at points of convergence, such as the entrance/hallway and the multifunctional room on the upper floor.
Strategically planned transversal and longitudinal zones intersect and intertwine, promoting fluid interactions between work and domestic life. Flexibility governs the spatial design, with rooms transforming to accommodate changing professional and personal needs. The intent to blur boundaries and foster continuity between the roles of architect and dweller unfolds across La Posada's diverse spatiality.
The building’s structural framework, rich in raw authenticity, resonates with the architectural journey within. The cellar, once neglected, embraces its primordial ambiance and metamorphoses into a bridge to the subconscious. This subterranean domain, nurtured by the cellar's shadows, evolves into a node for communal artistic and cultural activities. Bachelard's cellar as the "dark being of the house" comes alive, connecting the contemporary design process with primal creative instincts.
The upper floor, featuring a multifunctional expanse and remnants of an old clay oven, blossoms as a stage for experimentation. This open area resonates with the interplay of light and volume, hosting ideation, material exploration, and creative synthesis. The spatial proximity of this workshop to the adjacent office zone reinforces the overarching narrative.
The rhythm of intensive engagement and deliberate retreat shapes the creative lifecycle. The vital process of decompression and relaxation is acknowledged as pivotal, resulting in the design of a bay in the terrace—intuitively and practically designated for horticulture. The harmony achieved between the built environment and therapeutic pastimes highlights the architects' astute understanding of human nuances.
La Posada's luminous corral serves as a magnetic nexus, drawing together day-use rooms. This configuration enables a contiguous spatial experience, bridging residential functions and heightening interaction. The orchestration of the home's layout to complement the radiant corral mirrors the reciprocal partnership between the house and its inhabitants.
The restoration process spanning five years exemplifies a commitment to sustainable practice. Salvaged materials, including wood, ceramic tiles, and clay tiles, weave the story of continuity into the building's fabric. Lime mortar and traditional conglomerates gain prominence, aligning the project with ecological principles of architecture. The artisans' meticulous wooden panelling signifies a dedication to authenticity and craftsmanship.
In La Posada's transformational narrative, each decision flows like verses in a poem, an aesthetic harmony achieving unity. Walls are minimised, and spaces harmonise, celebrating a shared existence within the prism of a house-studio. The architects' orchestration grants La Posada a renewed lease on life, ensuring it continues to nurture dreams for generations to come.
Led by Carlos Gómez Sos, inN arquitectura’s visionary transformation of La Posada transcends conventional architectural practice. It is not merely a house or a studio; it's an embodiment of dreams, a sanctuary for creative endeavours, and a haven of peaceful coexistence. As the most recent custodian of La Posada, inN arquitectura has engraved its essence onto this centennial structure, immortalising its own legacy while simultaneously propelling it into a vibrant new epoch. La Posada, through the eloquent language of architecture, reminds us that architecture is not merely about bricks and mortar—it's about dreams, protection, and the ceaseless cycle of creation.
Location: Huelva, Spain
Design Firm: inN arquitectura
Year of completion: 2023