MPdV house in El Escorial


San Lorenzo de El Escorial (Madrid), 2012-14

The house is located in Monte Abantos, a beautiful south-looking pine tree forest overlooking the 16th Century Monasterio de El Escorial.

The project —the radiant house— started designing a room which, independently of its size, would have a good climatic adaptation —solar orientation and summer night cooling—, and would enjoy the views of the monastery.Any of the rooms should have the possibility to be opened during the summer months, enjoying the refreshing summer night breezes.

Each room needed two windows. A picture-window to enjoy the views and another window to enable cross-ventilation. The need for interior thermal inertia and insulation drove us to design an envelope which combined exposed structural concrete on the inside, projected cork insulation, and timber cladding on the outside. Thermal performance was enhanced using radiant surfaces.

The design process scattered a collection of seven rooms —living, dining, kitchen and four sleeping rooms— across the site, testing parametrically multiple solutions which negotiated between these three variables, until a balanced outcome was achieved. The final configuration of rooms organizes the house in two levels, the sleeping rooms generating a shadowed porch which, in combination with the pine trees, offersa comfortable outdoor cool atmosphere for summer days.

Radiant rooms. Sun radiation penetrates the room through the window which, through direct radiation and greenhouse effect, heats-up the concrete floor and walls, storing energy. Insulation, through external wood cladding, prevents stored heat from dissipating. Combining window radiation collection with interior thermal storage and outdoor thermal insulation, the thermal performance of the room is enhanced.

Concrete wooden-clad rooms. Reinforced-Concrete, has a high thermal effusivity (2036 s1/2 W/m2 C) and therefore has a high thermal storage capacity. On the other hand wood and projected cork have a low thermal effusivity (500 s1/2 W/m2 C) and therefore are good insulator. The combination of both maximize energy storage, minimizing winter losses.



Location: San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Madrid

Awards: Shortlisted Premios COAM 2014

Date: 2012-2014

Client: Private

Area: 410 m²

Project architects: TAAs (Javier García-Germán + Alia García-Germán)

Project team: Alia García-Germán, Elena Fuertes, Begoña Leal, Jesús Sanabria, Jaime Yndurain

Site supervision: Javier García-Germán

Consultants: GARVAL ingenieros, ADVENTIA ingenieros

Quantity Surveyor: Lucía Gigante

 Contractor: FMS construcciones

Budget: 1.600.000 €

Photography: Miguel de Guzmán