Casa Diana – New Extension Project

So yeah, as the title suggests I’m adding another prospective project to the blog following a visit to my parent’s place on the Costa Blanca, where they’ve settled permanently since March this year. The place served beautifully as their holiday home from home for a few years, but they’ve now moved in permanently and intend to extend. The house is a large bungalow with a flat roof terrace accessed from an external stair, with a floor plan as shown in the next image. The intended extension is to add a semi-cylindrical tower as indicated with my pen on the right hand side of the plan, with a large master suite at 1st floor level.

Both my parents are very literate in building and decorating and so have strong ideas on how they want the extension to look, and roughly how they would like to plan it. My mother drew a quick sketch plan ofthe upper floor to show me as a starting point.

The plan indicates a gently rising stair winding around the new cylinder, with upper master suite containing walk in dressing room, en-suite WC, small balcony overlooking the gardens, and an external bar-style kitchen to serve the roof terrace, nicknamed ‘fubar’.

Using this as a starting point for a design meeting, we produced some sketches to spitball ideas;

What emerged was a better understanding of the opportunities available while keeping the basic outward appearance they desired. Of note is the play of the dual skin of the cylinder, in that the outer skin must be a regular extrusion whereas the inner cylinder may be much more amorphous or irregular in response to the programme, potentially setting up a tension between layers through which the stair can pass. I brought up the idea of occupiable transitional space such as niches off the stair where one can sit or linger, as achieved in my old school, the Glasgow School of Art by C R Mackintosh;

We also hit upon the idea of creating a central adaptable insertion that could form the required spaces while retaining a sense that the suite was a larger area encompassing the component suites. This insertion could be a crafted object of timber or similar material in direct contrast to the white walls of the envelope, and could be formed to house hidden partitions to enable a degree of control over how open plan or isolated each area could be, enabling a wide range of use.

Next I began to sketch out tidier plans to begin to crystalize these ideas into a plan form;

It was decided around this point that a larger seating area within the suite was preferable and that a portion of the master suite might be used as an entertaining area also. This is still to be defined but the sketches began to consider this requsite;

The final plan sketch above was considered successful so the next stage is to develop the areas in detail. I envisage the central insertion to appear much as the joinery in Louis Kahn’s Fischer House as I mentioned in a previous post on another project. There is a lot of opportunity to incorporate Spanish craft skills in the detailing of this piece.

K.

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