LABor Studio transformed this historic office building in Chihuahua City, Mexico, by maintaining the facade and adding a contemporary addition to the home.
The designer’s description
This house is located in the historic center of Chihuahua City, in north-central Mexico. This district displays a deteriorated urban fabric due to the demolition of a great number of old buildings being replaced by surface parking lots. The population has migrated to the fringes leaving an empty housing stock.
The project was aware of the importance of both the restoration and integration of architectures while demonstrating the possibilities of contemporary housing in the urban center.
The old building is a two story structure built in the early twentieth century in a 40 square meter footprint. The construction system includes adobe walls, wood beams, a limestone facade, and an earthen roof.
The project and construction began in 2010 working with an office program. Restoration started by eliminating all of the non-original additions and rebuilding the earthen roof. The frontal facade was stabilized since it was detaching from the main structure. The neighboring 300 square meter property was added to the program while during this first construction stage. Therefore the program changed from office to a house.
The old and new construction was articulated by a vertical stair cube. The stair provides access to the two stories and the rooftop terrace where views of downtown Chihuahua can be enjoyed.
Access from the street happens in between the old and new constructions in a sequence that first goes through a patio-zaguan before penetrating to the interior. This access patio allows for additional light and ventilation for the old building while allowing for the concentration of rainwater collected from the rooftops.
Once through the threshold in the ground floor one can access a painting studio in the old building or the social area in the new building. The latter is a double height space composed of the living room and the kitchen. Both areas are divided by a bar and joined in the exterior by a patio. The garage can be added to the expansion of the social areas spilling to the exterior.
The second story contains the family room in the old building while the new construction has two bedrooms separated by a library-bridge. One bedroom is related to the street in the front and the other looks to the backyard.
The third and top level is a rooftop terrace with a steel plaque grill. The floor is a ceramic tile which allows the earthen roof to breathe out excess moisture. Plant pots and a light-well complete the arrangement with patio furniture.
The backyard has hardscape and softscape areas. The grasses, shrubs, and trees are a selection of native plants. Concrete modular pavers allow for the absorption of rainwater in order to help support the plants.
In the back of the property there is a water fountain framed by recovered timber from the construction’s scaffolding. Other recovered materials include the original limestone flooring, some of which was reinstalled while another part was crushed and used as ground cover to reduce the loss of moisture.
|Alternative names||Villa Malaparte, Malaparte House|
|Architectural style||Modern architecture|
|Location||Isle of Capri|
|Current tenants||Foundation Giorgio Ronchi |
|Design and construction|
Casa Malaparte (also Villa Malaparte) is a house on Punta Massullo, on the eastern side of the Isle of Capri, Italy. It is one of the best examples of Italian modern and contemporary architecture.
The house was conceived around 1937 by the well-known Italian architect Adalberto Libera for Curzio Malaparte. Malaparte actually rejected Libera’s design and built the home himself with the help of Adolfo Amitrano, a local stonemason.
Casa Malaparte is a red masonry box with reverse pyramidal stairs leading to the roof patio. On the roof is a freestanding curving white wall of increasing height. It sits on a dangerous cliff 32 metres above the sea overlooking the Gulf of Salerno. Access to this private property is either by foot from the Town of Capri or by boat and a staircase cut into the cliff. Casa Malaparte’s interior and exterior (particularly the rooftop patio) are prominently featured in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1963 film, Contempt (Le Mépris).
Casa Malaparte was abandoned and neglected after the death of Curzio Malaparte in 1957. It suffered from vandalism and natural elements for many years and was seriously damaged, including the desecration of a beautiful tiled stove, before the first serious renovation started in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The building was donated to the Foundation Giorgio Ronchi in 1972.
Malaparte’s great-nephew, Niccolò Rositani, is primarily responsible for restoring the house to a livable state. Much of the original furniture is still there, because it is too large to remove. The marble sunken tub in the bedroom of his mistress still exists and functions. His bedroom and book lined study are still intact. Many Italian industrialists have donated materials for the preservation.
Today the house is used for serious study and certain cultural events in Italy and is admired and hated by many architecture enthusiasts worldwide.
The house can only be reached by traversing the island. The last twenty minute walk is over private property, belonging to The Ronchi Foundation. It takes an hour and a half to walk there from Capri’s Piazzetta at the summit of the funiculare from the Marina Grande. The house can be reached by sea, on calm days only, as the waves are cast upon treacherous rocks and there has not been an official pier for many years. From the sea, one must climb 99 steps to reach the house. Malaparte gave his friend and boatman money to open a restaurant which is run by the boatman’s son today. It is the only restaurant one would pass on the path from the Piazzetta to the promontory where Tiberius built his palace, Villa Jovis.
The book Malaparte: Casa Come Me (A House Like Me) edited by Michael McDonough, includes drawings and essays by many prominent artists and architects, such as James Wines,Tom Wolfe, Robert Venturi, Emilio Ambasz, Ettore Sottsass, Michael Graves, Willem Dafoe, Peter Eisenman, Wiel Arets and many other luminaries of arts and letters. Casa Malaparte was also prominently featured in the Jean-Luc Godard film, Contempt (1963).
A three-bedroom home can be the perfect size for a wide variety of arrangements. Three bedrooms can offer separate room for children, make a comfortable space for roommate, or allow for offices and guest rooms for smaller families and couples. The visualizations here show many different ways that three bedrooms can be put to good use with stylish furnishings and unique layouts.
For small families, a two bedroom house is almost the ideal. Here are some of the 3D floor plans and lay-out designs we gathered for you to choose from and to get your ideas somehow.
A factory transformed: architect Yannis Kaklamanis overhauled the interiors of a former wine and tsipouro (brandy) production facility, creating a sleek and minimal loft–style vacation retreat on the island of Santorini.
The compound consists of four separate residences, joined by communal outdoors spaces; Kaklamanis has restored the interiors using traditional materials like polished cement combined with sleek stainless kitchens and modern baths. The villas are available for rent; for information, go to Villa Fabrica. (Julie)
“Villa Fabrica: Serenity in Santorini by Julie.” Remodelista. N.p., 20 July 2012. Web. Web. 21 Jul. 2012. <http://remodelista.com/posts/villa-fabrica-serenity-in-santorini?utm_source=Remodelista Daily Subscriber List&utm_campaign=8290c44c31-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email>.
Once upon a time, Arrighi was a watchtower peering over Tuscany and all along the Niccone Valley, with an adjoining fortified farmhouse. In recent years, the dwelling known as Castello di Reschio, in Umbria, Italy, is the result of a meticulous restoration that resulted in a luxurious L-shaped main house, and a standalone guest cottage.
Once the fortified farmhouse and watchtower, the impressive five bedroom main house is approached via a large paved courtyard beyond the entrance gates, past the sweet guest cottage that contains a double bedroom, en-suite bathroom, library and fully-fledged kitchen.
A glass encased external staircase tower is flooded with sunlight, and soaks in the extensive view over the very private and unspoiled 2,700 acre Reschio Estate, filled with rolling hills, vineyards, olive groves, chestnut and oak trees, extensive infinity pool and pool house. (HOUSE TOURS)
HOUSE TOURS, . “Transition of a Fortified Italian Farmhouse.” home Designing. N.p., 18 Jul 2012. Web. 18 Jul. 2012. <http://www.home-designing.com/2012/07/transition-of-a-fortified-italian-farmhouse?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed: home-designing (Home Design Ideas)&utm_content=Yahoo! Mail>.
Marlborough House is a project implemented by architecture company superkül and consists of a home conversion in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Here is more from the press release we were sent: “The many original interior partitions of this small house in Toronto were removed to create a remarkably welcoming and well-lit house characterized by its open relationship to the landscape out back. Ash wood millwork and a stone floor on the ground level tie the interior of the house to the crushed gravel courtyard outside, which features a small cedar garden pavilion. Dark-bronze anodized window frames provide a counter-point to the light interior palette and buff bricks on the street facade.
The tall windows on the three storyvoid at the centre of the plan provide a generous light to the rooms around it, including the principal washroom, which is separated from the void by a translucent, stretched vinyl panel. Cast glass pendant lights hung at different heights in the void create an optical shift that playfully distorts the scale and height of the void”. [Design team: Andre D’Elia, Meg Graham and Grant Hutchinson] (“Freshome”)
“Modern Home Conversion in Toronto Showcasing Inspiring Details.” Freshome. N.p., 03 Apr 2012. Web. 3 Apr. 2012. <http://freshome.com/2012/04/03/modern-home-conversion-in-toronto-showcasing-inspiring-details/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed: FreshInspirationForYourHome (Freshome.com)>.
This modern remodel is a remodel of post war split-level house into a comfortable living place…
RENOVATION TIPS by Design Uniform
Renovating your apartment is an exciting process. You are able to express your tastes and your personality. Your emotional well-being improves in a new, fresh environment. If you own the apartment, you will most likely add value to it by renovating it.
Keep in mind though, that renovations rarely go smoothly and are without problems. Below we list several issues that may arise. We believe that being prepared for those challenges will help make your renovation go as smoothly as possible.
Plan your budget carefully. The main reason for underestimating the cost of the renovation is underestimating the amount of work involved. This is especially true for bathrooms and kitchens, where a lot of the work will eventually be hidden from view. This may include but not be limited to relocation of plumbing lines, installation of plumbing fixtures, electrical wiring, framing of wall areas in preparation for recessed cabinets or wall hung toilets.
The most important decision that you will make in the renovation process (following the decision of your design of choice) is the selection of the right contractor. Regardless of how extensive the renovation is, it is crucial that you have a contractor who performs quality work, but that is a person with whom you can also communicate well. Please see our tips on how to select a good contractor here.
When will the renovation start? How much time will it take to complete? Discuss these questions with your contractor prior to signing the contract. The answers to these questions depend on the contractor’s availability, the number of people that will be working on the job at any one time, the hours in which the work can be performed, and of course the project’s size and complexity. Be prepared, however, that renovation projects sometimes run late, because of so called “unexpected field conditions,” delays in material deliveries, and other unpredictable circumstances. Always give your schedule some latitude – for example do not plan to move into your apartment on the day after the renovation is supposed to be finished.
The industry standard is to ask at least 3 contractors to price your job. This way you will assure that you are getting the best and competitive price. The contractors should meet with you and look at the apartment prior to giving you a price, so they can asses existing conditions which may have an influence on the price. Ask the contractors to list what they understand the scope of the project is. Also ask them to give you a bid with numbers broken down into categories, i.e. electrical work, plumbing, fixtures, accessories, tile work etc. This way you will be able to compare apples to apples when it comes to comparing the bids from various contractors.
Know what you are getting for your money
We realize that reading design drawings may not be your forte, but we encourage you to make an effort to understand what is included in the design documents, and request that the entire scope illustrated in the documents is accounted for, priced, and built by your contractor.
At least give it a try. Of course negotiations are possible only prior to contract signing.
The expression “contractor” derives from the word contract and for good reason. It is extremely important to have a written contract in place with your contractor (builder). Depending on the size of the job, the contract may range in size from a one page document (for a small size bathroom) to a multi-page document with many appendices and riders. You can prepare the contract yourself, or purchase and fill out a document from a design association. Make sure that the contract contains at the minimum the following information:
- The client’s (your) name and the address of the renovation
- The contractor’s name and address
- The total cost of the project
- The schedule of the project (when will it start and how much time will it take to complete)
- The scope of the project. This can be a description of what needs to be done. Do reference the design documents you have – this way they become part of the contract and the contractor is obliged to follow them. Be as specific as possible. (For example you can state: Scope of work is to complete a bathroom renovation, including removal of existing fixtures, accessories, lighting, tile etc, and installing new fixtures, accessories, lighting, tile etc as shown on design documents 1-8 attached to this contract).
- Work excluded from the contract. You may be supplying some of the items listed by yourself or through a vendor. Those items should be clearly listed.
- A payment schedule. Usually the contractor requires a deposit to start the work, and then receives one or more payments while the work progresses. Never pay the contractor the full amount until the work has been completed and inspected by you and you find it satisfactory. This is the best and often only way to make sure that your work will be completed!
- Any other information that may be important for the project, for example that the contractor must follow renovation rules required by your condominium association, that work must be performed by licensed individuals, that the contractor must carry a certain amount of insurance, etc. For larger renovations we do recommend that you purchase a contract prepared by a professional association, which has a lot of the above information already built into the document.
If you want to make changes in the design – try to make them before you sign your contract with the builder. Changes during the course of construction may be very pricy, but sometimes unavoidable. A document that lists additional cost due to a change is called a Change Order. Request that the contractor issues a Change Order and you approve it before the contractor proceeds with the additional work.
The work you are performing may require permits by your city or county agencies and/or by your condominium/coop association. Make sure you have all paperwork and permits in place before the work starts. For city/county permits you will most likely need the services of a registered architect.
Purchase or have your contractor purchase all materials prior to renovation so that there is no stopping once the project starts.
Request samples of tiles. Keep in mind natural stone varies as it is a natural material. Some stones are more uniform than others.
If you hire an architect or designer, their scope of services usually includes construction supervision or observation. If you did not retain a professional for this purpose, you will need to perform supervision yourself. Stop by on a regular basis and observe the quality of craftsmanship, the speed in which the work progresses, and whether you can spot any problems, errors or omissions.
Something goes wrong
Even highly experienced professionals who have been working in construction for many years will agree: mistakes happen. To avoid disappointment try to understand that this is normal. Usually the contractor will admit that he made a mistake and will fix it at no additional cost. However, you will want to carefully watch what the contractor is doing, and notify him immediately if you think something is wrong. Changes are much harder to make and much more costly if they are discovered at a later time.
Request a waiver of lien for each payment you make. As mentioned above, the final payment should be made after you have inspected the completed work and are satisfied with it.
Uniforn Design. (n.d.). Renovation tips. Retrieved from http://uniformdesign.us/renovationtips.php
A RENOVATED FARMHOUSE BY EVA MARTINEZ / Vintage parts and industrial aesthetics are its strengths.
Una masÍa rehabilitada por eva martÍnez . (n.d.). Nuevo Estilo, Retrieved from http://www.nuevo-estilo.es/espacios/393/393_3_1.shtml