Old stones, new house

authors Tuñón Arquitectos
project Stone House, Cáceres, Spain
 
Cáceres is a layered city, whose historic centre is built as an agglomeration of beautiful houses – palaces and churches, most of which are covered in granite of a warmer shade, and with characteristic façades. After the Civil War, official restorers of the regime discovered the strong expressiveness of the quartz stone walls which had faded. This led them to decide to impose a discipline which demanded an expressionist aesthetics, based on those cracked walls, almost gigantic quartz stones and lime mortar façades. This unusual decision, brought about by a handful of people, over the years became an almost surreal symbol when recognizing the beautiful city of the Extremadura province.  
 
In those mysterious surroundings, on the foundations of three buildings which belong to different periods, seven years ago, we built a complex with a restaurant and hotel – Relais Chateaux Atrio. In order to achieve that, we had to, alongside a significant personal investment, make the existing old walls functional again; thus bringing into this world a new living being which is, just like the hermit crab, capable of adapting within the stone shell of another animal.
 
As it usually happens with written works, one project leads to another… Years later, one of the owners of a company which delivered white concrete for the Atrio hotel, gave us the opportunity to build his family home. He was an educated and optimistic person, who presented us with his concept for his new project: We want a house in which, when we are outside we want to go inside… and when we are inside, we have an irresistible urge to go outside. With this unusual concept as a starting point of the project, we began building the house in one of the rare generic residential communities that can be found in the surroundings of Cáceres.