The renovation of a Galician farmhouse sensitively unites old and new in this sober and compelling regional headquarters building
The creative reuse of old buildings is addressed in this modest but compelling project for the regional headquarters of the Rubido Romero Foundation, a Spanish charity that offers support to the elderly and disabled. On a site in rural Galicia, an existing farmhouse is renovated to provide space for lectures, exhibitions, counselling and community activities. The approach sensitively unites old and new elements in a dialogue that articulates a convincing new whole.
Iberian vernacular architecture has particular character of plainness and sobriety and this spirit finds thoughtful expression here. The thick stone walls of the farmhouse are meticulously repaired and the interior painted white with new floors of grey granite. Existing timber beams are left raw, the dark patina of age a deliberate and powerful intrusion within the glacial interior. Dark steel elements complete the limited palette.
Part of the two-storey building was originally a stable with a low ceiling height. The intermediate floor structure has been removed to create a dignified, double-height volume that reflects the building’s revitalised role. The jury was impressed by the reticent, elemental quality of the architecture and how this finds expression in a series of simple, highly controlled moves.
The low roof and thick walls of the old farmhouse create an impression of great strength and solidity
Whitewashed rubble walls and stained timber wainscotting form a neutral backdrop to modern furnishings
Architect: Abalo Alonso Arquitectos
Photographer: Héctor Santos-Díez / BISimages