Tejeda is a small municipality located inside a volcanic area, on the summit of the island of Gran Canaria. It is a special place, with a very steep terrain and a mesmerizing natural environment, “a petrified storm”, as Unamuno defined it. Small-scale buildings coexist in the sparsely constructed fabric, which is scattered throughout the territory as nuclei, among which some interesting constructions of a more traditional character stand out. The regulations, with more than good intentions, try to ensure the preservation of the rural character of the municipality by applying very strict parameters, which promote the appearance of folk solutions instead of the enhancement of the original elements of popular Canarian architecture.
With this starting scenario arises the possibility of projecting a detached house on a plot of very unique characteristics. Located in the historic center of the village, the plot has minimum dimensions, 9x4 meters, and a longitudinal slope of 2.50 meters. In a corner situation between the regional road and a pedestrian
passage, the land borders on its west and south facades with a free space. This, together with its elevated position in the territory, makes it one of the main impulses of the project.
The intervention bets on a leisurely insertion of the architectural piece, which is presented as a simple volume that assumes the imposed archetypal formalization, but that in turn takes refuge in the voids of the norm to propose an architecture that does not renounce the intrinsic values of the project, sensitive to the stimuli of the place.
The house occupies the entire plot and is distributed in height. Aware of its privileged position, the work is conceived as a watchtower that is hermetic in its facades to the street and permeable towards the views of the environment, on
which stand out the two main geological symbols of the island: the Roque Bentayga and the Roque Nublo. In this sense, a set of holes of equal proportion (the one that obliges the norm) but different scale is distributed by the west
and south facades, framing and trimming the landscape, favoring that each space is related in a particular way to the exterior. The play of moving gaps is completed with the treatment of the envelope in a series of bands that introduce a horizontal counterpoint to the verticality of the part. These stripes, executed with hand-grooved plastering, define the base of the building and contrast with the mastered finish of the finish.
Internally the uses are hierarchized in section, assigning the semi-basement floor to the private rooms and the intermediate one, where the main access is located, to kitchen and dining room, which are extended to the outside by means of a small terrace. On the second floor, the most dominant over the views, the living room is located. The latter slab hangs from the roof, allowing the insertion of a longitudinal fissure that visually connects the three levels of the house and through which the staircase runs, which manifests hard and heavy in its start, light and friendly at its coronation.
In the material plane, a bounded catalogue is used, in which the textures construct with light a serene but vibrant interior. The pavements are executed with concrete, establishing a duality with the ceiling plane, formalized by exposed
concrete slabs formwork with pine planks. This material is also used for the staircase down to the bedrooms, highlighting the independence of the private areas.
The massive use of pine wood for furniture and panelling is combined with the elements in green as the only note of color, providing warmer nuances in the formalization of the domestic space, helping to build an environment in which
textures build with light a serene but vibrant interior, and completing the set of strategies of this small house that looks, openly and without complexes, to the petrified storm that surrounds it.