In a small village in La Rioja, Spain sits a very special project. Undertaken by Hanghar, a 10 year long architectural exploration by the OWN foundation, this reconfiguration of an old stable in the village of Cameros is unlike any nearby structure typically defined by monumental, five-story tall façades in thick, stone walls and symmetrical openings.
The project consisted of remodelling the space into an area for leisure and living alongside an adjacent garden. To do so, Hanghar proposed a humble but effective intervention, one in which the traces of the old stable coexist with the requirements for contemporary dwelling.
Each floor, which has the same distribution and dimensions, is connected by a spiralling wooden staircase ending in a skylight that brings light in. On the ground floor of the interior, next to the village’s ravine, is a narrow and long space, formerly used for storing cattle and goods.
The cattle’s former drinker, a heavy, stone piece, sits on top of an articulated brick structure, functioning as the space’s washbasin. This contrast is echoed throughout the interior as organic shapes and colourful furniture sit within, a playful juxtaposition to the formal facade.
In the exterior garden, a sinuous coloured-concrete platform snakes alongside the existing vegetation. The slab’s plane is elevated 15cm above the garden’s ground, allowing for a spatial continuity with the stable’s interior and generating an exterior domestic landscape that adapts to the family’s changing needs.
OWN is a Madrid-based non-profit organisation committed to the decommodification of architecture and the built environment through alternative modes of ownership and finance. OWN works towards a post-property tomorrow that rejects social exclusion and promotes financial equity by way of partnerships, exhibitions, writings and other forms of cultural resistance. Being a for-profit subsidiary, Hanghar adheres to the foundation’s values, reporting annually to its board of trustees.