Design and construction of new housing
Casa Carmen is located in an extension square in the old Raval de Sant Joan de Elche, which has its first traces in 1265, of Muslim origin. It still has the flavour of the past, quiet streets, with activity and life impregnated with history, with the special cadence of the neighbourhood.
Casa Carmen faces south, towards the square, formerly called Carrer Forn Fondo, because there was an oven and the streets were named after what was in them. The people of the neighbourhood say that the people used to live with the door open, in the street. Life is different now.
Carmen lives on the upper floor looking for a controlled intimacy, a relationship with the square, but with natural light and sun that enters from the east, from the party wall, and from the south, from the facade, through a latticework drilled with motifs that used to be graphed on tiles and now on a steel plate cut by numerical control, but with the same ornaments that let air and light pass through, and bring back the memory of the place. It also has a small garden, a sunny terrace, a living room and kitchen that looks out onto a small patio. 32 m2 optimized but sufficient for a friendly and comfortable relationship with the outside.
The intermediate floor of Carmen is the bedroom area, one inside and one on the front. The one in the façade is illuminated through the latticework, which filters the light and sifts it, controls the privacy, through the same perforated plant plot, made of 1cm thick veneer, cut by numerical control. This mashrabiya draws the light inside, filters it and at the same time allows ventilation.
Now the street and the house are related in a different way than in the past. On the ground floor Carmen holds small family meetings or keeps the car, the anteroom of the house, contact with the square, now more protected and impermeable, but when these family meetings are held the door opens wide, bringing the street inside the house, recovering the house and the public space their identity of yesteryear, with a close neighbourhood relationship…
Design and construction of new house
Location: Elche, Spain