A series of folios presenting design research by staff at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
House Refurbishment in Carmena : Izaskun Chinchilla Architects;
House Refurbishment in Carmena
by Izaskun Chinchilla Architects

This house, in the Spanish province of Toledo, was re-purchased by descendants of the original owners, who then sought to refurbish it. Ancestral homes such as this one visually and architecturally represent the families with which they are traditionally associated, bearing the various signs of their occupiers. This refurbishment preserves essential characteristics of the original construction, valued by the clients, while updating structural and functional plans, services and outdoor spaces with salvaged building materials.

The project takes, as a point of departure, the challenge of strengthening and transforming the existing architecture, while also critically recovering good building practices from the past and combining them with contemporary techniques and lifestyles. The family has participated in developing the design, in locating other demolished houses for architectural salvage and in contracting workers. Izaskun Chinchilla Architects has helped them to draw, detail and build their preferences while introducing technical expertise on matters such as energy conservation, recycling of historical materials and structural reinforcement.

The preservation of this house is important in the town's urban context because its mid 18th-century plan formed a trident that joined the church with the city hall and the two main squares. Since all the other houses have been redeveloped, the only remaining presence of this original architecture is across from the church and in the refurbished house.