Residential Rehabilitation. Castromao House



Typology: Residential / Rehabilitation

Location: Castromao, Ourense, Galicia

Photography: Héctor Santos-Díez

Year: 2019 | PLP Atelier®

>The rehabilitation comprises three contiguous buildings in the rural settlement of Castromao, belonging to Ourense province.
The goal is to transform the old farmers’ houses , currently abandoned and strongly deteriorated, into a dwelling by annexing the three spaces that were originally independent. The area of the plot reaches a total of 150 m2 divided into ground and first floors.
The central section is attached to the western section on one side, and connected through a wooden roofed footbridge on the other side. This solution allows direct connection between the three formerly independent sections, while also allowing north-south ground passage between the front and the back side of the plot.
Casa Castromao (1)
The functional structure of the dwelling presents a clear distinction between the private uses in the first floor, and the common use spaces in the ground floor. Accordingly, the first floor houses the bedroom and bathroom in the central and eastern parts, and the kitchen and living room in the western part. This combined space of kitchen and living room provides the perfect nexus between the private spaces in the first floor and the common-use space in the ground floor, which are connected through stairs connecting both floors. The lower floor consists on a cozy lounge that can house multiple uses thanks to its amplitude and versatile design.
The functional program is completed with an additional space in the ground floor of the central section, which may also house multiple uses such as laundry, drying or storage room.
Casa Castromao (2)
Casa Castromao (3)
Casa Castromao (4)
Casa Castromao (5)
Casa Castromao (6)
Casa Castromao (7)
Casa Castromao (8)
Casa Castromao (9)
Casa Castromao (10)
Casa Castromao (11)

The first step in the rehabilitation process is to identify the singular elements of the building. Once detected, these elements are carefully restored and the whole design process is planned such that the intervention is coherent with the historical elements preserved.
Given this guiding principle, we preserve and enhance the stone walls present in the three sections of the building. We clean and grout both the inner and outer parts of the stone walls and respect their original distribution and structure, becoming therefore the axis around which our intervention revolves.
The western and central sections are jointly roofed with a continuous “flat” in the north side, and stepped one in the southern side to adapt the roof to the difference between both floors. On the other hand, the current double slope roof is preserved in the eastern section, since it is independent and differently titled from the other two. The whole surface of the roof is tiled with black slates traditional from this area, which both provides homogeneity to the integrated building and coherence with the local cultural and natural environment.
The two main façades are a perfect reflection of the climatic conditions to which they are exposed. Whereas the northern façade is more opaque, uniform and with a few small openings, the south one is open with wide glassed galleries to make the most of the weather.
Casa Castromao (12)
Casa Castromao (13)
Casa Castromao (14)
Casa Castromao (15)
Casa Castromao (16)
Casa Castromao (17)
Casa Castromao (18)
Casa Castromao (19)
Casa Castromao (20)
Casa Castromao (21)
Casa Castromao (22)
Casa Castromao (23)

We restore and reuse traditional elements of the original construction that have a high historical and cultural value, and are essential elements of the ethnography of this area, such as the old stone sinks found during the demolition and cleaning works. We also use the original stone for the step terraces of the patio planters.
Casa Castromao (24)
Casa Castromao (25)
Casa Castromao (26)
Casa Castromao (27)

Our priority was to respect the traditional materials present in this building and its surroundings, as well as to make the most of their qualities, such as the thermal inertia provided by the stone walls. The most relevant change is the selection of traditional slate instead of tiles, which provides a greater integration of the building with its surrounding landscape. Provided that we could not reuse the existing wood beams for its original use, we use them to restore the double lintel in the upper part of doors and windows. We use metallic lattice and steel deck slab for the main structure, which reduced the budget and allowed us to reduce the sections compared to the situation where wood were used instead. However, wood still stays as one of the main materials of the project. We design custom wood furniture for the integrated kitchen-living room. But the main use of wood is in the chestnut lattice used as the skin of the façade and the cover of the footbridge. This wood has an innovative treatment developed by the Galician company “Madeiras Besteiro” in collaboration with the research center “CIS Madera” that dramatically improves its performance on coping with adverse weather conditions in the long term.
Casa Castromao (28)
Casa Castromao (29)

We integrate a clear blue of the exterior carpentry within the uniform tones of the materials used, such as stone, wood and steel. This decision is taken after the research made on the traditional constructions of the Castromao are, to better integrate the construction into its historical and cultural environment, and also respecting the original colors of the former building. This clear blue is also used in the cantilever micro-perforated mesh at the southern façade, as a reminiscence of the enlargement performed in the building decades ago.
Casa Castromao (30)
Casa Castromao (31)
EP-06.Fachadas (2)
EP-01.Planta Baja
EP-07. Alzados

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