Designed by the prestigious architect Juan Herreros, Casa Garoza is an industrialised prototype adjusted to the principles of sustainability and contemporary needs. This house was a Finalist in the Spanish Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism, was selected for the FAD Awards and the Mies Van der Rohe Awards for Contemporary European Architecture, won the Construmat Award for Technological Innovation in 2011 and was awarded an AR House Award 2012, making this project a benchmark for modular industrialised housing.
It was conceived so that it could grow modularly and undergo extensions according to needs.
The house is set in two thousand private metres in Muñogalindo, Ávila. The landscape is a beautiful meadow bordering the Ibarrola Foundation. An artistic expression of Art and Nature, conceived and created by the Basque painter and sculptor Agustín Ibarrola Goicoechea, who, accompanied by his beloved wife Mari Luz, transformed this territory of rocks and holm oaks into a magical place, full of art and spirituality. In the area of the foundation we can see, by appointment, more than a hundred works by the artist and we can even find several rocks he worked on in the area around the house.
Casa Garoza is much more than a 21st century cabin. Architecture, art and landscape come together in a unique experience with nature as a witness. The idea of placing this house integrated into the landscape between the hollow left by its rocks, as if it were an observatory of the environment in which it sits, without modifying it or intervening in it in the slightest, leads us to a sense of refuge, from where we can contemplate the vast pastureland as a spectator.
As an anecdote, the house was manufactured in a workshop and transported there in five lorries, being installed in a single day. Only the last layer of the façade and the roof were put in place on site, managing to blend into the landscape without damaging its surroundings of large granite rocks one iota.
It is the viewer himself who defines his relationship with his surroundings. The house welcomes its inhabitants, protects them, but offers them contemplative enjoyment. In Casa Garoza we will experience what life is like in a cabin of our times, raising awareness of the ecosystem, now more relevant than ever. Comfort and awareness of sustainability go hand in hand in this experience that invites us to find the balance, as being in the middle of nowhere resources are limited, such as water, which must be brought in a cistern, so it suggests a responsible consumption.
The house is distributed on two floors and offers a cosy atmosphere thanks in part to the ecological conglomerate that covers its walls, while at the same time reinforcing thermal comfort. On the main floor we can find a large bathroom with shower, the living room, kitchen and dining room surrounded by large windows and access to a large terrace from where we can contemplate the spectacular views of the landscape. From there we can go down to the land or stay in the shelter in watchtower mode.
On the upper floor there is a bedroom connected to the walkway that leads to the living room with a double bed, which reminds us of the lofts of the traditional haystacks. On the same walkway there is a sofa built with the same ecological wood as the rest of the house with two comfortable mattresses that serve as beds, ideal for the little ones.
It is a house to enjoy as a couple or for small families who want to achieve a real disconnection, full rest, without noise or interruptions. An immersion in nature to reconnect with our loved ones and with oneself. The pleasure of reading, strolling while contemplating the works of art, chatting while listening to music from your record player while enjoying dinner in the best company or simply doing nothing, just letting yourself go and feeling. An architectural experience capable of inspiring and enriching the soul.
A resounding project, created with a complex and masterful simplicity. The country cottage of the 21st century.
Photography: Javier Callejas from 1 to 23. Rebeca Patillas from 24 to 88
Year of construction: 2010
Architecture studio: Estudio Herreros
For more detailed information, we invite you to visit our 5 stars section, which you will find further down on this page, after the images.