Architecture office z4z4 have recently completed the construction of the Casa Tobogán (Slide House). Located off the beaten track in the outskirts of Madrid, the house is the result of a three-layered design in which two different houses and a crossing void join together to create a cinematographic experience of domestic life.
Architects: Z4Z4 AAA
Project author: Rafael Beneytez Duran
Construction Management: Rafael Beneytez, Víctor Cano, Ophelia Mantz
Design team: Rafael Beneytez,Víctor Cano, Ophelia Mantz,Borja Iglesias, Elena Oña
Structural Engineering: Juan Carlos Arroyo, Ignacio García (Calter) + Rafael Beneytez, Víctor Cano (z4z4)
Photography + Video: ImagenSubliminal (Miguel de Guzmán / Rocío Romero)
Project years: 2012-2015
Area: 512 m2
Based in Madrid and West Texas and led by Rafael Beneytez, Z4Z4 engages in architectural projects that allow the possibility of linking the audience and the authors through mobilisation and activism. All their recent work focuses on the principle that weightlessness allows direct access to ordinary and mundane aspects of life.
Text by the architect. A family is looking for a new home able to represent their trips around the globe, their desire to live in a garden and to embody the cinematic diversity of domestic life. The result is the design of two different houses on the same plot.
The Tobogan House is a generic three-storey house on a southern slope. The project juxtaposes two houses and a void that houses a car park, an entrance and two staircases, working as a thermal regulator and constructing a tracking shot between a garden, a folie and a picturesque grotto while crossing through the lounge, sauna-fitness center, bar, dining room and kitchen.
One of the houses is organized to inhabit the soil with its habits and routines. The other was made light-heartedly, emancipating from the ground, in the air, flying at a double height over the garden. Both are totally different from each other in materiality, shape and weight. The most important spatial interest of the complex is the heterogeneous, ambiguous and membranous space that appears between the two houses.
The scenic load of this space is achieved through the exposure of domestic life circulating between floors. The ground floor is contained between two long concrete walls. These walls cut into the soil to accommodate two ‘conventional and modern’ volumes, connected by a corridor surrounding the empty greenhouse-stage.
In the South there is a garden for “the Good Life”, to the North lurks the “Grotesque Garden” — in the middle is the promising double height greenhouse. Over this green sequence along the plot, a smooth surface, based at ground level, lets Nature cross over the slab and the car to pass through from one side to the other over the dining-kitchen area.
The upper floor is formed by wrapping three empty cylinders with corrugated iron, curtains, air and mirrors. Inside the cylinders inhabits the “super-inside”, offering total privacy to 9 rooms padded with wood, cotton, linen and silk, surrounded by “souvenirs”.