Santo Caralampio Shed

Studio: Arturo Franco Arquitectos
Authors: Arturo Franco
Location: Cáceres, Spain
Video: Arturo Franco

General aspects: A 400 m2 shelter built for a little under 100,000 € next to Madrigal de la Vera.
Madrigal de la Vera is located in the province of Caceres, in Extremadura. It is considered the starting point of the Gredos mountain range. The Tietar River and the Alardos Gorge shape the territory, offering large granite boulders which have been used for the construction of roads since Roman times. Farmyard walls and other boundaries rely on these boulders used without any mortar. Thus, light filters through its joints and corners, allowing for the quick growing of all sorts of vegetation that surrounds buildings in no time at all. Not for nothing was this land enviously called “Little Galicia”.
That is how we conceive this shelter. A building that disappears, showing its fundamental guts as it blends in with the woods. A prefabricated structure from GPS tecnicas metalicas. A construction that breathes through its holes and protects itself from the sun under a parasol and from the rain with an umbrella. A set of catalogue solutions, nothing more, which were handy and of course the materials we found in the warehouse in Oropesa at the lowest price. Here, architects were mixed together with local tradition and available materials.
The house is cool in the summer and rapidly warms up in during winter. I can guarantee it.
Why did you choose this category?: Malu, or Luz, or even Pieldevaca – cow’s skin – for her clients, is my decorator friend who brags about being Galician. She comes to this part of the world to spend long weekends and this is where she has just built this house, or shelter, as we prefer to call it. Arturo, I only have 100,000€ for everything. From there, we started to work together on a project, on a state of mind, with a shared attitude.
La Vera is known for its tobacco and pepper curing barns. It all generates a vast and complex local culture that takes advantage of the land’s resources with ingenuity and little money. There are estates closed off by granite boulders; fences made from bed bases and forgotten wires; and shelters and curing barns made of turned exposed brick so as to create latticework and ventilation. Unbiased. A corollary of engineering solutions described as popular, domestic or simple, carried out with local resources.
Did we design anything? Well, maybe…we decided to separate the espagnolette from the metalwork. Thus the mechanism is appreciated and left naked, more sincere. We also decided to put a small house within a big structure which protects it from the sun and the rain from a distance. The metal structure offers an inside sensation, of psychological refuge, of own space, whilst within the masonry structure the world is presented as comfortable, conditioned. A sweet and soft shelter on the inside of a hard and efficient artefact.