madrid-based practice, lucas y hernández-gil, have restored a rural guesthouse in the small town of villalba de los barros, situated in the tierra de barros region of spain. the new intervention employs a sensitive approach to respect the original architecture of the 18th century building. the project uses an authentic material palette to highlight the original features of the space, while simultaneously adapting it to meet the new requirements of contemporary living.

lucas y hernández-gil retains original features in spanish guesthouse restoration designboom

images © josé hevia

 

 

the two-storey guesthouse has a typical structure with three load-bearing wall bays and vaulted ceilings at ground floor level. the building opens onto the entrance square on one side and onto a small yard on the other. at this level all the social areas can be found: hallway, living room, kitchen, dining room and yard. the original spaces have been recovered by the architect and in addition, new openings to the yard and between rooms have been formed to create a visual link and obtain more brightness into the spaces. in material terms, a raw lime mortar has been used on the walls, while limewash has been used on the arched ceilings.

lucas y hernández-gil retains original features in spanish guesthouse restoration designboom

 

 

the original baked clay floor had been lost, however, the architect approached local potters who made new pieces by hand. similar in texture to the old floor, only the diagonal and irregular layout makes it possible to distinguish the floor as a contemporary one. brick is also used in the yard to the edge of the small pool that has been built to cool hot summer days. the carpentry work also stands out, both for the careful restoration of richly decorated original elements and for the new doors, windows and their fittings.

lucas y hernández-gil retains original features in spanish guesthouse restoration designboom

 

 

the upper floor that was originally used as a warehouse space to dry-cure meat is now home to the bedrooms. this floor has been almost entirely reorganised, but the aim was to keep the atmosphere and unique character of the house in terms of scale, finishes and furniture. the rural guesthouse has 3/4 bedrooms and three bathrooms, hallway, living room, kitchen, dining room, yard and cellar. it is equipped with modern facilities to ensure comfort and special care has been taken both in the use of materials and air conditioning systems regarding their sustainability, following the logic of the vernacular architecture itself.

lucas y hernández-gil retains original features in spanish guesthouse restoration designboom

lucas y hernández-gil retains original features in spanish guesthouse restoration designboom

lucas y hernández-gil retains original features in spanish guesthouse restoration designboom

lucas y hernández-gil retains original features in spanish guesthouse restoration designboom

lucas y hernández-gil retains original features in spanish guesthouse restoration designboom

lucas y hernández-gil retains original features in spanish guesthouse restoration designboom

lucas y hernández-gil retains original features in spanish guesthouse restoration designboom

lucas y hernández-gil retains original features in spanish guesthouse restoration designboom

lucas y hernández-gil retains original features in spanish guesthouse restoration designboom

 

 

project info:

 

project name: ‘casa villalba de los barros’

project location: villalba de los barros, tierra de barros, spain

architect: lucas y hernández-gil

photography: josé hevia