sustainable architecture, o soutiño house part 2

All the lands have elements that make them unique. Those elements must be taken advantage of and must be enhanced. The are factors that can reduce the charm of the environment and those factors must be minimised. Now we will describe some of the positive aspects that O Soutiño has got and how they will be enhanced.

the land and its evironment

The land is in the high part of  a valley orientating east. This land is about 3 meters higher than the level of the road which gives the access to the rural nucleus. This makes possible that the land is a bit isolated from the other houses nearby. This is very good : although the presence of houses in the neighborhood is benefical,  there are areas inside the land,  where one can not see the neighbour houses and so the view of the valley dominates. This gives us a sensation of isolation, peace and contact with nature. That is what you seek when you live in the countryside.

The land is mainly flat, but there is a quite steep slope in one part.  Its exactly here where the view is the best and where there are some trees that can be beneficial to protect the house from the excessive heat in summer. This also gives a sensation of being surrounded by nature when you are inside the house.

stone walls

As you can see in the aerial photo, this land has got something very special and charming: there was a house in the land in the past. Now you can only find some remains of the original stone  walls of that house. It is very important to conserve them as they present memories of the history of the area. By recovering and cleaning they will become part of the inmediate environment of the house.

This is an example of the stone walls that we have been speaking about. As you can see, this stone wall is able to remember past times and, of course, has got a grand aesthetic potential. It must become a part of the daily life, not only a single object to be observe; it will be a part of the pedestrian access to the house.

Here we can observe the already recovered stone wall and the beauty of  being able to access the house through these stairs. In the superior part of the photo we can see another house that is very close to the house we will build. It is north orientated and  a vegetal barrier has been planted in the border of the plot in order to protect the house from the north and to not have the view of the other house. There isonly a natural background.

rocky outcrops

Another charm of this land are the rocky outcrops which seem to be powerful. As you can observe in the lower photo, these rocky outcrops lose their presence at present because the most of them are covered by a thin layer  of topsoil. Hardly can you see them and they don’t offer the power of the rock to the land. This happens in various parts of the land and it must be corrected, otherwise the qualities of the place would be wasted.

In the lower photo, you can see the rocky material which could not be observed in the superior photo. The superficial layer of topsoil was removed and now  you can see all its power and beauty. This process enhances the surroundings of the house and takes us closer to mother earth. It’s important not to waste all the possibilities that the place offers us, because we are a part of nature and over time nature is a part of us and helps us to enjoy life even more.

In the next part we will talk about some singular elements to take advantage of and how to potentiate the views of the land. To be continued…