How do you put a penthouse for a grown child on top of their parent’s home? In the case of this multi-generational residence, a strange situation called for something unique – an independent and differentiated addition that works both with and against the historic stone walls and foundation.

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Multi-generational Casa Lude penthouse model

Grupo Aranea created a space for the client to call home, reaching out to surrounding views of southern Spanish landscapes, while providing privacy and connections to the old home below.

Multi-generational Casa Lude penthouse unusual

A series of cantilevers allow slices of light and air in along the edges, while folding wall-to-floor planes flip up for larger expanses and tuck back in to create nooks and crannies.


While the plans communicate the necessary information, and the three-dimensional model remains photo-realistic, the most convincing part of the project’s presentation are the study models and shadow-testing photographs showing the interplay of space, light and shadow.

Multi-generational Casa Lude shadow testing

More from the architects

When I remember the construction process of the house, it appears to me as a network of variables. I imagine that for those accustomed to these tasks, it does not surprise them, but due to my double and bipolar condition as promoter and end user, it has been a more curious experience than what it must be for the usual promoters or buyers. I will try to make a sentimental tour, since it would be technically impossible for me, through said process.”

Multi-generational Casa Lude penthouse interior

“The idea arises from the intention, or need, starting point, obvious and often postponed need for members of my generation to have a home, that necessary context in which to develop life, where to grow or continue to grow. The idea soon arose, simple and ethereal, as abstract as it could be moulded, a house above my parents’ house on C/ San Agustín, in what was then nothing more than a small storage room.”

Multi-generational Casa Lude penthouse stairs
Multi-generational Casa Lude penthouse rooftop

“At this point the variables that I was saying begin: space, looks, legislation, gravity itself, the economy… there are so many that multiple options begin to open up at that point. One begins to realize that the idea mutates, adapts, twists, positions itself, moving in the face of the most varied contingencies that occur. What at first would be a small studio-apartment begins to change, New options and possibilities appear to expand the space, a dialogue is established between the law and the project.”