Rock + Hard Place: Concrete Home Mixes Flat with Fantastic

Building on a hill is never easy, where views present both opportunities and challenges. This stoic modern form manages its perch with marvelous grace, balancing the bleak and rocky immediate landscape with respect to bright and distant horizon lines.

Set up on a hill on the outside of Madrid, the lot is defined by two gigantic granite boulders – the massive building responds to these features, but also mediates their steep and unpredictable with a flat and uncompromising first floor.

 

In moves that would make Mies proud, the floors are uncluttered by details and emphasis is placed on floating concrete forms with nearly-invisible floor-to-ceiling glass windows and doors spanning between.

Sparse sets of wood furniture, trim and built-ins add a contrasting and warmer brown to the gray surroundings. The thin horizontal patterns in the concrete and ever-present green in the distance also help soften the experience, making the place feel less harsh and more meditative.

This site-specific solution by Inaqui Carnicero is convincingly subtractive – it feels as if someone started with a preformed block of concrete, then carefully sliced and removed sections to create rooms, a pool, other openings and double-height spaces.

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