Project: Rufo House
Architects: Alberto Campo Baeza
Location: Toledo, Spain
Area: 2,152 sq ft
Photographs by: Javier Callejas
Rufo House by Alberto Campo Baeza
The Rufo House is a bulky concrete structure with views stretching out towards the Sierra de Gredos mountains. This contemporary two-story residence by Alberto Campo Baeza is much more than just a bulky concrete structure though.
Located near the historic citadel of Toledo in Spain, this house was designed as a “hut on top of the cave” with a sequence of ground floor rooms overshadowed by a rooftop podium which houses a swimming pool that offers spectacular 360-degree views.
From the architects: “The brief was to build a house on a hilltop outside of the city of Toledo. The hill faces southwest and offers interesting views of the distant horizon, reaching the Gredos Mountains to the northeast.
The site measures 60 x 40 m and has a 10-meter slope.
At the highest point, we established a longitudinal podium, 6 meters wide and 3 meters high, that extends from side to side the entire length of the site. All of the house’s functions are developed inside of this long box, the length of concrete creating a long horizontal platform up high, as if it were a jetty that underlines the landscape with tremendous force.”
“This long concrete box is perforated and cut into, conveniently creating objects and voids to appropriately accommodate the requested functions (courtyard + covered courtyard, kitchen, living room-dining room-hall, bedroom, courtyard + courtyard, bedroom, garage, swimming pool, bedroom, courtyard).
In this distribution the living-dining room opens to the garden while the bedrooms face onto courtyards open to the sky and garden, affording them the necessary privacy. The stairway connecting the upper floor is situated in the area behind the living-dining room.
On top of the podium and aligned with it, a canopy with ten concrete columns with a square section support a simple flat roof, as if it were a table with ten legs. Under this roof, behind the columns, is a delicate glass box. To protect the views of the house from the back, a simple row of poplars were planted.
Once again, the theme of the Hut on top of the Cave. Once again, the theme of a tectonic Architecture over a stereotomic Architecture.”