A Careful observation of  this unique natural environment led the way to approach this project. Located on the north side of the island, on the remains of a volcanic crater in the middle of vast  mineral landscape cooled by the nearby ocean,the construction is thought as a huge spatial mesh built with concrete that, hanging from the walls of the crater, geometrizes, sews and overlap a new rational order that emphasize the dialogue between architecture and landscape.

The contrast is a compositional reference of the Project. Contrast between tectonic and stereotomic, the full and the empty, inside-outside, black &white... An abstract architecture based on a stereotomic lattice concrete structure of 6x6 m with interior frameworks of 2 x 2m. that supports a 12 cm. thick slab. The volcanic terrain leads us to distrust traditional foundation systems. The structure bears the loads to the whole height of the structure,which is supported in the multiple ends of its perimete. Therefore, the house is suspended from the structural ceiling, so the sculptural volcanic ground remains intact and flows beneath the house...

The white structure andthe wall, boundary between housing and landscape, condense all the tensions that converge in the project.

The geometric order of the structure reminds to 6x6m. water rafts  that creates the island's landscape (the unit, is the measure that defines the right to irrigation in the island).Tradition and architecture meet in this project, reminding the terraced fields of the island and using the expertise and local tradition in the construction of the stone walls..

Basaltic local stones are transformed into blocks, bowls, gravel... offering us excellent textures and rigging on walls, fences, partitions, etc. Furthermore,used as aggregates in concrete, they provide an exceptional material with hightectonic quality. The project is a dialogue in the boundaries between natureand artifice, taking advantage one of each other.

The program divides the living areas and the rest areas. In one hand, the living spaces are located inside the crater and beneath the huge structural courtyard, with the Atlantic ocean as background. On the other hand, bedrooms are dug on the ground just at the edge of the white wall. Once again, contrast is the key: the impressive daytime landscape versus the shelter on it during the night

This tension between different parts of the program contributes to understand the whole intervention as a determined will to separate cause and effect: textures, shadows, fences, programe, paths, volumes...are elements that are used in order to understand the house as the place where nature and abstraction are tensioned, instead of imagine the house as a casual collage in which these two poles were merged.



  • Status Built

  • Location El Hierro, Canary Islands. Spain

  • Program Private House

  • Year 1996

  • Developer Private


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