VALCOTOS
Madrid, Spain
by Isabel Duprat

The second work in Spain, near Madrid, after the Somosaguas project, if, on the one hand carried the experience of the first journey bringing greater intimacy with the vegetation and the climate, on the other hand, the quite diverse set of situations and the expectation of the second travel presents us with another matrix of the creative process and much more to discover. ​

Here in this residential condominium designed by Studio MK27, cars will have to share space with pedestrians in a single lane. This was the big provocation of the project. Vegetation would occupy the little space left for vehicle maneuvers. The projection of the second floor of the houses advances over an important part of these already reduced areas. The façades of the houses face the circulation axis, which is oriented in the EW direction, making the south facing façades receive sun and, the north facing ones, shades. The sum of these factors makes it difficult to select plants, including trees, that were chosen according to sun and shade tolerance. How to make this place a garden and not a driveway with side beds was the hardest challenge. 

At both ends of the land, small squares providing 360 and 550 square-meter living areas allowed me to spread out a little more. The whole area to be planted, however, had the privilege of being on natural soil. 

The choice of the client to do all the circulation on gravel solved this duplicity of functions without clear limits and gave me the trump card of imagining the vegetation sprouting from the ground like wild plants that grow spontaneously even in the area of the squares, which will be better noticed over time, when the plants feel comfortable. At first, the design of the vegetation was designed in a linear way to accompany the architecture, but during the execution the option for organicity became clear. By Joining the two ends of the property with the gardens next to the houses, we get the feeling of a larger area of vegetation. The grass I originally thought for the squares was eliminated to reinforce this feeling. I used evergreen shrubs in the main circulation area so that the small garden areas were green and could show off even in Winter. Spring and Summer flowers and autumn-colored trees with their red-tinted leaves, contrasting with the white color of the architecture, offer a different color palette each season. 

 
 

Intervention area 2.000 m²

Project and execution 2018- 2019