Off Grid Home in Extremadura
by Ábaton

| 13 comments
 

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).

Off Grid Home in Extremadura by Ábaton

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.

Off Grid Home in Extremadura by Ábaton

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.

Off Grid Home in Extremadura by Ábaton

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.

Off Grid Home in Extremadura by Ábaton

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.

Off Grid Home in Extremadura by Ábaton

Two bedrooms are positioned at the back, plus the old hay lofts were renovated to create an extra three upstairs.

Off Grid Home in Extremadura by Ábaton

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.

Off Grid Home in Extremadura by Ábaton

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.

Off Grid Home in Extremadura by Ábaton

We've featured a few converted stables on Dezeen recently. Others include a family house in England and a summer retreat in Portugal.

Off Grid Home in Extremadura by Ábaton

See more Spanish houses on Dezeen »

Off Grid Home in Extremadura by Ábaton

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.

Off Grid Home in Extremadura by Ábaton

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.

Off Grid Home in Extremadura by Ábaton

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.

Off Grid Home in Extremadura by Ábaton

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.

Off Grid Home in Extremadura by Ábaton

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.

Off Grid Home in Extremadura by Ábaton

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.

Off Grid Home in Extremadura by Ábaton

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.

Off Grid Home in Extremadura by Abaton
Ground floor plan - click for larger image
Off Grid Home in Extremadura by Ábaton
First floor plan - click for larger image
Off Grid Home in Extremadura by Ábaton
Section one - click for larger image
Off Grid Home in Extremadura by Ábaton
Section two - click for larger image
  • profellenensher

    I really love the rustic feel of these houses.

  • Dave Gronlie

    I could live here.

    One thing I might change would be the shutters that cover both a ground and upper floor window. I would like them to work independently of each other, so I could shutter either just the top or the bottom.

  • Futomaki

    This site is all about aesthetics. Focusing more on the self-sufficiency of the house and how it works technologically would’ve been a whole lot more interesting.

    • Maia

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Gcgz6aZ3jk
      You can see on this video how this house actually is self-sufficient. I see it as very poetic work in respect of genius loci.

    • monica raatjes

      No it’s not all about aesthetics, this is an assumption. A house can not be more self-sufficient than this one is. It is totally off the grid and deals with the very harsh climate of Extremadura.

      There is a very clear concept about this house. It has its own water-powered turbines for electricity in winter, and solar power in the summer. It also has water cooling in the summer and no air-conditioning. This is for once a house that supports it self.

  • Sara

    The longer I look through these images the more I appreciate how subtle, nuanced and incredibly delicate this project is. It is so easy to do the “look at me” kind of projects but this type of architecture takes true skill, thoughtfulness and respect for materials. Very impressed, well done.

  • http://www.zazous.co.uk Kate Austin

    One of the most beautiful houses I’ve seen for ages. Don’t suppose it’s available for holiday rental is it?

  • efelo

    I saw this project years ago, there is a movie about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Gcgz6aZ3jk

  • Dominik

    Need some help!
    You can see a red floor lamp on one of these pictures, I think it’s the living room.
    Can one of you guys tell me what’s the name of that lamp?
    Thanks in advance!

  • kar

    Good lord. I thought they had crisis down there in Portugal…

    • evan

      Not that they don't have a crisis, but this house is in Spain, not Portugal.

  • monica

    Portugal?

  • djnn24

    One of my favourite projects ever.