Owl’s House is a single-family house in Benahavís, Spain that was originally built in the 1960s and was in a partial state of ruin, until it was acquired by a new owner who demanded new functionalities for the residence, with the help of estudio GonzaloGA.
The original house was initially designed to accommodate a family of three. The new configuration of Owl’s House accommodates for a family of 4 members, as well as a guest area, an independent apartment, a playground, and the possibility of dividing the house into two separate units.
The biggest challenge posed by the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the house is the integration of a new area, with a much larger surface in the same pre-existing footprint. Due to its partial state of ruin, it was necessary to demolish the eastern rectangular wing of the original structure. The new construction of the house contains a newly available space and multiply the built meters to accommodate the new programmatic needs. The spatial configuration of the residence is developed by concatenating successive blocks of the program, which include the kitchen, living room, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Owl’s House also includes an L block that houses an apartment with independent access. The reading of the blocks can be done in a manner through which its volumetry is expressed in its façade and roof.
Owl’s House is a unique residence that fuses the past with the present
The most notable modification of the Owl’s House occurs in the reconstructed eastern wing, where the height is doubled, which enables a previously non-existent basement, and reconfigures to accommodate the new program. With the intention of creating a high-quality and functional basement, and a tropical English patio that allows light to enter into the basement that is created. The glass envelope featured throughout the lower floor provides lights and favors the reading of the continuous space, connecting the English patio with the garden to the southern side of the house.
The newly reconstructed wing has a formal yet constructive duality, and shares its aesthetics and similar solutions to the previous house in the entire north façade. This façade has been resolved with traditional construction techniques that allow it to integrate the new part with the old. On the other hand, the south façade takes full advantage of the views and sunlight by feature large, open windows.
The roof structure of Owl’s House is completed with a structure of metal trusses whose inclinations vary in each block. Part of the new roof is made with old tiles that are recovered and the rest is completed with a flat tile that is similar to the preexisting continuity and language of the original house design.
All the photos belong to Luis Díaz Díaz