Client: Private Date: 2018 Categories: Integral Remodeling, Housing

Casa Carmen is located in a widening square in the old Raval de Sant Joan of Elche, which has its first traces in 1265, of Muslim origin. It still has the flavor of yesteryear, quiet alleys, with activity and life steeped in history, with the special rhythm of the neighborhood.

The house Carmen is facing south, towards the square, formerly called carrer Forn Forno, because there was an oven and many streets were named after what was in them. People in the neighborhood say that people used to live with the door open, in the street. Life is different now. Carmen lives on the upper floor looking for a controlled intimacy, a relationship with the square, but with natural light and sunlight entering from the east, through the party wall, and from the south, through the façade, through a lattice perforated with motifs that once graffitied tiles and now is a steel sheet cut by numerical control, but with the same ornamentation that lets air and light in, bringing the memory of the place. It also has a small garden, a sunny terrace, a living room and kitchen facing a small patio. 32 m2 optimized but sufficient for a friendly and comfortable relationship with the exterior.

The middle floor of Carmen is the sleeping area, one to the interior and one to the facade. The façade is illuminated through the lattice, which filters and screens the light and controls the intimacy through the same perforated vegetation, made of 1 cm thick sheet metal, cut by numerical control. This mashrabiya draws light into the interior, filters it and at the same time allows ventilation.

Now the street and the home are related in a different way than in the past. On the first floor Carmen makes small family gatherings or keeps the car, anteroom of the house, contact with the square, now more protected and waterproof, but when those family gatherings are made, the gate opens wide getting the street inside the house, recovering the house and public space identity of yesteryear, with a close neighborhood relationship…

Location: Elche (Alicante) Photography: CabreraPhoto