Project: Houses on the Carme de Abaixo dairy farm
Architects: Víctor López Cotelo and Juan Manuel Vargas Funes
Location: Historical City
On the limits of the historical town, forming part of the complex and evocative fabric combining the presence of urban and rural elements, there are the remains of an old diary farm that the architects Víctor López Cotelo and Juan Manuel Vargas Funes have reconverted into a series of houses. This architectural project is exemplary because of its formal results, the integration of existing and new elements and the solution provided to the renewal of areas bordering the historical town.
The complex, divided into several volumes, is situated on top of a platform bordered by a long stonewall running alongside the River Sarela. This wall is the first in a series completed by smaller retaining walls, forming a terraced relief sloping down towards the river. These planes are the site of the restored and new volumes, as well as the landscaped areas leading to the houses.
The introduced typologies do not correspond to conventional concepts, giving priority to guidelines that help to integrate the complex into the surroundings formed by the small streets, river banks, church, existing forest'
The high degree of care and control exercised down to the last detail -not very common in private housing developments- is obvious to visitors, who are able to see the quality of this architectural project in the choice of its materials, finishes and small design details. In 2003 this project won the prestigious Spanish Architecture Biennial prize.