Casa Rufo by
Alberto Campo Baeza


Delicate glazing fits around a bulky concrete structure at this hilltop house in Toledo by Spanish architect Alberto Campo Baeza (+ slideshow).

Casa Rufo by Alberto Campo Baeza

With views stretching out towards the Sierra de Gredos mountains, the two-storey Casa Rufo was designed by Alberto Campo Baeza as "a hut on top of the cave", with a sequence of ground-floor rooms overshadowed by a long and narrow rooftop podium.

Casa Rufo by Alberto Campo Baeza

A concrete canopy, described by the architect as like "a table with ten legs", shelters a small section of the podium and is surrounded by frameless glazing, creating a transparent room that is visible from the surrounding garden.

Casa Rufo by Alberto Campo Baeza

A staircase leads directly down from here to the living and dining room below, where the architect has placed the entrance to the house.


Rectangular cutaways transform some of the rooms into open-air courtyards. Two bedrooms face in towards these spaces, rather than out through the exterior walls.

Casa Rufo by Alberto Campo Baeza

Another opening reveals the location of a parking garage, while a smaller void functions as a rooftop swimming pool.

Casa Rufo by Alberto Campo Baeza

A row of poplar trees was planted behind the house, helping to screen it from views from the north-east.

Casa Rufo by Alberto Campo Baeza

Alberto Campo Baeza lives and works in Madrid, and also teaches architecture at the Madrid School of Architecture. His other projects include Offices for Junta de Castilla y León, a glazed office block concealed behind a sandstone enclosure.

Casa Rufo by Alberto Campo Baeza

Other Spanish houses on Dezeen include a converted stone stable and a residence that looks like a cluster of concrete cubes. See more houses in Spain »

Casa Rufo by Alberto Campo Baeza

Photography is by Javier Callejas.

Casa Rufo by Alberto Campo Baeza

Here's a project description from the architect:

Rufo House, Toledo

The brief was to build a house on a hilltop outside of the city of Toledo. The hill faces southwest and offers interesting views of the distant horizon, reaching the Gredos Mountains to the northeast.

Casa Rufo by Alberto Campo Baeza

The site measures 60 x 40 m and has a 10-metre slope. At the highest point, we established a longitudinal podium, 6 meters wide and 3 meters high, that extends from side to side the entire length of the site. All of the house's functions are developed inside of this long box, the length of concrete creating a long horizontal platform up high, as if it were a jetty that underlines the landscape with tremendous force.

Casa Rufo by Alberto Campo Baeza

This long concrete box is perforated and cut into, conveniently creating objects and voids to appropriately accommodate the requested functions (courtyard + covered courtyard, kitchen, living room-dining room-hall, bedroom, courtyard + courtyard, bedroom, garage, swimming pool, bedroom, courtyard).

Casa Rufo by Alberto Campo Baeza

In this distribution the living-dining room opens to the garden while the bedrooms face onto courtyards open to the sky and garden, affording them the necessary privacy. The stairway connecting the upper floor is situated in the area behind the living-dining room.

Casa Rufo by Alberto Campo Baeza
Isometric diagram

On top of the podium and aligned with it, a canopy with ten concrete columns with a square section support a simple flat roof, as if it were a table with ten legs. Under this roof, behind the columns, is a delicate glass box. To protect the views of the house from the back, a simple row of poplars were planted.

Casa Rufo by Alberto Campo Baeza
Lower floor plan

Once again, the theme of the hut on top of the cave. Once again, the theme of a tectonic architecture over a stereotomic architecture.

Casa Rufo by Alberto Campo Baeza
Upper floor plan

Location: Urbanización Montesión, Calle Brezo parcela nº 158. Toledo
Client: Rufino Delgado Mateos
Area: house: 200 sqm, patios 120 sqm

Casa Rufo by Alberto Campo Baeza
Cross section

Architect: Alberto Campo Baeza
Collaborating architects: Raúl Martinez, Petter Palander
Structure: Juan Antonio Domínguez (HCA)
Surveyor: José Miguel Agulló
Builder: José Miguel Agulló

  • seb

    Campo Baeza should be made the patron saint of architectural purity.

  • baj

    I can see exactly what he tried to do (absolute contrast between the course-ness and materiality of the concrete, and the refined-ness and immateriality of the glass), and he has absolutely failed to pull it off.

    It has the barrenness and bleakness of camping in any one of a million unfenestrated multi-storey reinforced concrete parking garages, without even the benefit of furniture. Nice try, but it didn’t work.

  • endeshavdz

    Beautiful, but in general it looks the same design as ‘Casa de Blas’ from 1999:

    • El Jiji

      If you read the descriptions of the two projects they are basically identical, yet I think this ‘stubbornness’ is a positive quality of his work.

      There is something decidedly classic in Alberto’s architecture. It gives you the feeling of him having arrived at certainty about the way he sees architecture.

  • Wow, beautiful! Great job. Thanks!

  • Toto

    I would like to point that in the pictures is piece of good design really unknown called Toad Chair designer by Ignacio Hornillos. Beauty forever!

  • Veron

    Dear Dezeen,

    Could you go and make a report of this house after it is inhabited? The architecture of this house stands out. I truly love its purity, rawness and simplicity.

    Will these qualities still be there after they introduce furniture to the space? I would love to see this house inhabited. For now, it is a tomb.

  • Allan

    Some naval connotations with it, as abandoned ship-bones haunting the ridge.