Marcela House / Erbalunga Estudio

Architects: Erbalunga Estudio
Area: 3,067 Square Feet (285 Square Meters)
Year: 2023
Photographs: Iván Casal Nieto
Lead Architects: Arminda Espino, Rubén Rodríguez.
Design Team: Marta Tobio
City: Toledo
Country: Spain

In Toledo, a village project rehabilitates a building by shifting the architectural focus from light to shade to cater to the local climate—harsh winters and hot summers. The design centers around a courtyard, using permeable structures to maintain privacy and solar efficiency, crucial in such latitudes. Traditional materials like ceramic bricks and herringbone patterns for drainage merge historical elements with contemporary needs, embodying a seamless integration of old and new.

The rehabilitation of a building located in a Toledo village embodies a distinctive approach contrasting with the typical architectural pursuits centered on light. Toledo, characterized by its distinct climatic conditions—minimal rainfall, cold winters, and hot summers—presents unique living patterns where social and family lives converge yet distinctly separate at the thresholds of residences. This project emphasizes a nuanced exploration of shade, employing filtered light and shadow to adapt to the locale’s demands.

The house is strategically organized around a courtyard, adhering to the local traditional layout. This setup not only preserves the vernacular architecture of Castile with its thick, minimally perforated walls but also transforms these barriers into permeable structures within the courtyard. This transition facilitates a seamless visual and spatial flow across the various spaces.

Central to the home’s design is the courtyard, serving as a social hub and linkage to diverse functional areas, including the main residence, a porticoed entry, an artist’s workshop, a guest module, a celebration-oriented wood-fired kitchen, and a laundry facility. The main residence features a permeable ceramic facade that ensures privacy and efficient solar control, vital in this geographic context.

Material selection and design further reflect the regional ethos, with herringbone brickwork facilitating rainwater management and ocher-toned ceramics enhancing the interior’s warmth and maintenance ease. The project, by integrating traditional elements with modern functionality, establishes a coherent visual and practical narrative, respecting and reinterpreting the historic architectural language of Toledo.

Marcela house / erbalunga estudio
Project Gallery
Project Location

Address: Toledo, Spain

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