Located on the banks of the Tajo River, the city of Toledo, listed as a World Heritage Site since 1986, with its winding and steep streets lined with two-story houses, is home to Mudejar architectural gems, Islamic art, ruins Roman and Renaissance and Baroque works, which reflect the contribution of each culture to the architectural heritage of the city.
The Belvedere House is located on the southern slope of the historic center of Toledo, in one of the most emblematic areas of the city, which is represented by an infinite number of paintings and photographs throughout history, inspiring d 'countless artists, from Greco to Andy Warhol, as well as the world of international tourism.
One of the main challenges was how to integrate contemporary architecture in an area with such an important historical tradition, so that the end result also has a great presence in the city.
"... it was about finding a balance between respecting the historical context and, at the same time, maintaining the characteristics of a contemporary property". The project is located on a small plot with a frontage of 8 m and a depth of 13 m.
It is accessed by a winding and steep street. The property is located at the end of the street. Inside the field, there is a "patio"
The front of the property takes advantage of the very steep street, called "Cuesta del Can", through its two entrances. The first entrance, a porch at the front of the property, is on the ground floor of the building and has direct access to the "patio". There is also a small apartment on this level for guests.
The second entrance is on the first floor of the building and is the most convenient entrance when returning from the city center. On this floor are the bedrooms and a small office. From there you can go up to the top floor which includes a kitchen open to the dining room and living room, the entire length of which opens onto a terrace (loggia style), offering a framed view of the countryside and protecting the interior from the side. south of the property from too much sun exposure. It is also the most distinctive element of the property.
There is a direct line of sight from one entrance to the other inside the property through a clear glass wall, which aims to open up the small entrance area and allow natural light to shine through. through the trellis to the ground floor.
The furniture includes contemporary pieces by Romero & Vallejo, like the Ruff Pouf for GAN or the Palma PL01 rug for Now Carpets, combined with classic motifs like the basket lamp by Miguel Milá, the Butterfly Chair, La Siesta, a traditional container in earthenware by Diabla or the Pet Lamp by Acdo.
In terms of construction, the building rests on a perimeter concrete foundation, which is fully structural. Sometimes it acts as a rim beam for pile caps and other times as a retaining wall to count the pressure of the earth on the perimeter, street and foundations of neighboring buildings. As a result, we were faced with very poor construction conditions. The foundations support a number of load-bearing walls which have become small pillars on the south side of the property.
“Technically, despite its modest dimensions, this project was one of the most difficult we have done. The site was almost impossible to access for construction; the archeological remains had to be integrated into a foundation built on a mixture of natural stone and man-made materials. The dividing walls were in poor condition and had started to come off, so they had to be supported by our building. There was also water inside to different intervals, which changed location depending on the season All of this has been fixed and is part of the general idea of the project, but not in a way that seems "too extravagant".
Designed with attention to detail and a clever use of available materials, this property is a piece of contemporary architecture, relaxed and unassuming. We have tried to make it as simple as possible, including only what is strictly necessary for a functional or structural reason, in order to achieve the best possible quality space.
1. Gan Rugs - POUF: Ruff Pouf by Romero & Vallejo
2. Now Carpets - Palma PL01 rug by Romero & Vallejo
3. Diabla outdoor - La Siesta: a traditional earthenware vessel from Diabla
4. Santa Cole - basket lamp by Miguel Milá
5. Acdo - Pet Lamp
6. Proyecto - silla BKF by Antonio Bonet, Juan Kurchan y Jorge Ferrari Hardoy