Casa Vecina / Moszoro Pucci Arquitectos
Text description provided by the architects. The refurbished and expanded property was part of a single-family housing complex built in 1939. Front-facing houses were replaced by a high-rise apartment building, while the back plots underwent various independent schemes of refurbishment and expansion. The cornerstone decision of our project was to return to the house’s original concept by reverting a series of interventions and enlargements that had rendered the spaces locked in, and deprived the whole property both of natural light and ventilation. New house owners requested an increase in the living surface which required demolition work.
The main structure was preserved, including bearing walls and brick and joist vaulted ceilings. The main entrance door and the wooden floor were also maintained. The remaining elements from this type of building had already been replaced in previous renovation projects or were in a major state of disrepair. After stripping the house of all partitions, plastering, and finishings, the refurbishing work began. Every preserved element was re-purposed and a new function was assigned to it. The original yard was transformed into a hub, a 2-level “lung” fusing the upstairs and downstairs areas. The attic became the bathroom. The staircase, which was originally for service use, was restructured to access the 1st floor. Part of the joist vaulted ceilings was strategically torn down to give place to a new yard facing North so that the ground floor spaces could receive plenty of sunlight and natural air.
Once the refurbishing of the original structure had been completed, the expansion stage was done with a dry-construction method. We installed a prefab tubular structure covered with a sandwich panel with PUR (polyurethane). To finalize the project, a big metal wraparound prefab ceiling was assembled to house the upstairs bedrooms. This renewed material expression shines through stronger than the previous version of the building, reinforcing the open spaces and highlighting new areas. Structures, materials, and textures intertwine in conversation to bring about a renewed space filled with purpose. The old house becomes a home once again.