Calderona House, Badajoz, ES. 2019

Contemplating nature requires extracting information and processing it with sensibility. This information is perceived visually, but can also be heard, transpired, and most importantly, felt and incorporated into our memory. The emotions that we remember after visiting a space, a place, a landscape, give shape to what Le Corbusier called the “spirit of the place”. Transforming this transcendent experience of memory into architecture, involves a demanding process of translating abstract constructs into data, such as drawings, photographs, words or models. And this itinerary, from matter to data, allows us to preserve and enrich memory. As architects, we allow the impulses of our memory to activate the creative subconscious and excite the desire to create, to build, to interact with a place, with its matter, with its spirit.

Visiting the hills of Calderona country estate, in the heart of Extremadura, surrounded by marshes, natural exuberance, silence, we find natural stone eruptions, provocative accidents of material beauty. We also discover forms traced by previous residents that later became vacant, ruined by time, suggestive, opposing the logic of the practical, embodying the beauty of the natural.

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The departing point of our proposal is an intention to revive the accumulated popular knowledge that lies within the masonry stones of the found settlement, and to expose the new domestic spaces to the landscape from this platform of contemplation, respecting the memory of the place. And over the stones of Calderona we build other stones, and we free them from any architectural predetermination, so that they can adapt to the orography, both materially and formally. New spaces appear as a result, shaded areas, sheltered rooms, framed views... We deliberately appropriate existing traces and add to them the structures of intuition that our sensitive memory induced after contemplating and interpreting the data of the landscape, of its matter, of its space, of the spirit of the place.

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