Madrid studio Ábaton has rebuilt a crumbling stone stable in the countryside of western Spain and converted the building into a self-sufficient family home (+ slideshow).
Located miles away from the nearest town, the old building was too remote to be connected to an electrical grid or water supply, so Ábaton had to make use of renewable energy sources. The orientation of the building helps to generate a solar heat gain, while two nearby streams provide hydro electricity, as well as clean water for drinking and bathing.
The stone and timber structure of the stable had significantly deteriorated, so the architects had to replace most of the walls. "[We] decided that building from scratch was the best option as the stable was in a terrible shape," they explain.
The rustic stone exterior of the house was restored on all four elevations. Windows sit within deep recesses and can be screened behind large wooden shutters that reference the style of stable doors.
Many of the walls inside the house were removed and replaced with metal columns, opening up a large double-height living room along the entire length of the building.
Two bedrooms are positioned at the back, plus the old hay lofts were renovated to create an extra three upstairs.
A swimming pool runs along the front of the building, doubling up as an irrigation tank, plus a small patio is tucked away at the back, where it is overlooked by bedrooms and bathrooms.
The architects added limestone floors throughout the house, plus exposed concrete walls and wooden ceilings. "In short, a mix of modern cement and iron beams coexist with well-worn stone, weather-beaten wood and local stone," add the architects.
Here's some more information from Ábaton:
Located in a privileged environment in the province of Cáceres, the goal was to transform an abandoned stable into a family home by completely renovating it in a way that would be consistent and respectful with the environment. At the end, the studio decided that building from scratch was the best option as the stable was in a terrible shape.
High on a hill and far from city water or an electrical grid, a thorough investigation resulted in the addition of photovoltaic and hydro power (weighted toward solar in summer and hydro in winter) and worked to ensure the home wouldn't use much energy. The building's original orientation also helped as southern exposure allowed for the sun to be the main source of heat during the winter.
A generous eave prevents much sun from entering the home during summer, thus keeping it cool. Large wooden shutters that slide closed like a second skin, cover the large windows at night to trap in most of the home's daily solar heat gain.
As the building is located far from city water but perfectly located below two streams that flow year round the water is pure and can be used for drinking and bathing. The swimming pool acts as a holding tank for use in irrigation.
In the interior nature has been incorporated almost to every room in the house: bathrooms with views of the interior patio and its stone water fountain, bedrooms with huge picture windows overlooking the countryside.
The position of the architecture is as it was originally and the material used are also the same though given the home's crumbling state the façade was built with a mix of cement and local stone.
In the interior, supporting walls were replaced by light metal pillars, the haylofts in the upper area were converted into bedrooms and the enormous central lounge serves different purposes. In short, a mix of modern cement and iron beams coexist with well-worn stone, weather-beaten wood and local stone.
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