In SSS we consider that the architect is a total space creator, fully prepared to rebuild the past and to build the future world. Since 2002 our research, teaching and professional practice has been focus on various, simultaneous and complementary directions:
Contemporary and experimental housing. Experimental design projects for new family housing and social groups in the contemporary spectrum. In this line of work we have received local and international awards in social housing, we teach in Official Master’s Degree in Advanced Architecture, Landscape, Urban Planning and Design (School of Architecture of Valencia) in Course “Recycling of Social Housing” and we have extensive experience in housing projects for international cooperation in developing countries, mainly in Latin America.
Community buildings. We are interested on how our cities are equipped. We have built numerous projects that deal with the immediate community area and express their most profound social function through the space.
Urban Regeneration. Developing projects of regeneration and gentrification in consolidated urban factories. We have received international and national awards, where spatial revitalization of depressed urban areas has been the main objective of the project, and we teach as Associate Professor at Laboratory H in ETSAV (Escuela Superior de Arquitectura de Valencia) where the main teaching working lines are concepts such as innovation, community redevelopment and urban miscegenation.
Big City. Big scale compounds a fundamental agenda in our practice and research. We have studied the big city phenomenon, where concepts as mobility, green surfaces, water, zoning or genetics take place.
Object design. Small scale contributes to more human appreciation. We have design objects of small scale for building and the city. And so, we close the circle of the “ art of the project”.
The Wall and the Sky. Old Prison. Murcia (2017)
Isometric view of the set
The penitentiary centers are the spaces created by man to isolate other men. That is the fundamental reason for its existence. And so, the architecture of walls is the instrument that makes this isolation of some men with others effective. The wall is, in this project that occupies us, symbol and reality of the isolation of man by his actions or ideas. The wall is the impermeable physical barrier that builds freedom on one side and captivity on the other.
Mapping of Murcia
How then can we reverse this effect? Mies Van der Rohe was the architect who broke the character of enclosure and used the wall to “articulate the organism of the house”. In its brick house of 1924, the wall ceased to be a limit and was transformed into space leaks; the wall space extended beyond itself and thus created a new space with a structural model as old as the first urban settlements several thousand years ago. From Mies, we understood that the space can be still fluid building with walls.
And so we have projected.
Image of the west facade
The limit that oppresses the space disappears, the project leaks vertically into the sky and fugues horizontally when it opens onto the city.
The space leaks vertically and opens to the infinite sky, day and night. The inhabitant of this place will no longer be watched, but will become an observer of the slow future of the day. Light and air will pass through each of the new spaces created and this new inhabitant will breathe the warm taste of freedom.
And the space escapes in horizontal flowing from inside to outside and from outside to inside like the rocking of the waves rocking on the sand. The horizontal plane extends until connecting beyond the limit of the wall, beyond the scope of the view, to the cathedral.
Aerial night view
Light will bounce off the old walls of an imaginary prison sketched by Piranesi, as the wall with its thickness and texture will persist as in the ruinous drawings of the Italian architect and engraver. Ruin is the trail left by memory. Therefore, the ruin must remain as a witness of the past and as a participant in the future building.
But we must heal the wounds of the past, and we must seal them with gold like the Kintsugi, the marvelous technique of Japanese origin that repairs the fractures of the pottery with gold, silver or platinum dust. A restorative philosophy that states that breaks and repairs are part of the history of an object and should be shown instead of hiding, incorporated and also beautify the object, writing its transformation and history.
With this technique we restore the building. Ceramic is a wall, gold is the new and light architecture. We repair the memory and its fractures filling the holes of the building with gold and life. A new life for the building and its inhabitants. A building will never be so alive having been so dead. A new mestizo and insomniac equipment that groups different functions and that never sleeps …
And we created a garden, where there were cells, open to the sky and the sun. Where once there was a panoptic structure, a symbol of the oppressor’s oppression and vigilance, there is now a space for freedom. Now, the dark and decrepit heart of the prison has been transformed into a bright and living place.
The Wall and the Sky
1st PRIZE competition for the construction of a house in San Antonio de Benageber (Valencia)
Your house has everything you want.
When you arrive at your house, you park in a previous space. Nothing is shown yet, nor visitors nor passersby; a wall that protects you from the outside. Only you know what lies behind. Behind the wall, the patio in the shade of a pine leads you to the interior. And here, the space, warm and luminous, expands to the opposite end of the plot.
But before, your house has a working space that lives off the patio, which you use as a bedroom when your guests come to spend the night. They have their own bathroom and the privacy an inhabitant needs in a strange house. But above all it is a space for you. For your things.
And now it is. Your house grows first in horizontal, as continuity of the patio. You enter the dining space and to your right a crack of evening light lies on the kitchen bench. You also want an island where you can have breakfast or converse with your guests while you cook. And you will be able to make the kitchen independent since with this condition we have projected it. You can open, close, or filter views.
This first space links the other two, and so your house grows up and down fulfilling your desire for vertical spatial wealth.
If you go down a little, the house extends to the bottom of the garden. The living room first. There is a linear furniture under the double height that rotates next to the wall; here you will enjoy the cinema and your readings. Then a wide and deep porch where hangs a Paraguayan hammock for the summer siesta. After the garden with the barbecue and the oven you want, and in the background the sunny pool.
This succession of spaces are the ones that you will enjoy more in the company of friends and family. They will never forget you and you will always enjoy it.
And if you go up, something else, the diffused light from the north bathes the access space to the rooms and will even slip into the living room. As you wish, there is no corridor but a space of double height open to the clear view of a thick and high pine forest not far to the north, and two rooms with a window torn at ground level that turn to the garden. Yours is wide and at night you will see a horizon of clinking lights, and beyond the mountains.
“This architectural competition is developed in the Valencian municipality of San Antonio de Benagéber, about 20 km from the city of Valencia.
The visual permeability that is generated from the access patio to the garden of the house endows the project with a space amplitude that has been highly valued by the client. At the same time, has taken advantage of the slight unevenness of the plot to generate different areas at different heights without losing the space continuity of the house. A double height bathed by diffuse northern light articulates this sequence of spaces and opens on the upper floor to the clear view of a thick and elevated pine forest to the north.”