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Casa Hemeroscopium

Hemeroscopium is for the Greek the place where the sun sets, an allusion to a place that exists only in our mind, in our senses. It is constantly moving and mutable, but is nonetheless real. It is enclosed, delimited and suggested by the horizon, though it is defined by light and only takes place in a precise moment of time. By Ensamble Studio & Antón García-Abril.

Casa-Hemeroscopium-By-Ensamble-Studio-09-759x569 Casa Hemeroscopium / Ensamble Studio

© Roland Halbe

Antón García Abril and Ensamble Studio has designed this domestic space as a complex system of unstable equilibrium in which the imagination, through the complex structure that surrounds the compound, escapes with the visual of a distant horizon.

Casa-Hemeroscopium-By-Ensamble-Studio-01-759x913 Casa Hemeroscopium / Ensamble Studio

© Roland Halbe

Remember brutalism works, but no brutality in this work, only game improvement and, in short a place to live, spacious, bright and sophisticated. In the words of architect is a hundred percent emotional home, where this sentiment has been supplemented and merged with the sound engineering, resulting in a space to be inhabited.

Casa-Hemeroscopium-By-Ensamble-Studio-04-759x569 Casa Hemeroscopium / Ensamble Studio

© Roland Halbe

Built in Las Rozas, one of the largest municipalities in Madrid in the valley of the Guadarrama, Spain. It lies at a distance of 18 km from Madrid and block the road between La Coruña A-6, which crosses the city from two areas of unequal size, and the road Escorial M-505 which is in the kilometer 0 municipality. There are 3 railway stations: Las Rozas, Las Matas and Pinar.

Casa-Hemeroscopium-By-Ensamble-Studio-05-759x569 Casa Hemeroscopium / Ensamble Studio

© Roland Halbe

“All our efforts to develop the technique in search of a specific space. And so emerges a striking language, where the transition disappears leaving the space bare. The house embodies the culmination of Hemeroscopium balance with what we call in Ensemble Studio wryly point G, twenty tons of granite, the expression of the force of gravity and counter all their physical structure ” – Ensemble Studio

Casa-Hemeroscopium-By-Ensamble-Studio-06-759x890 Casa Hemeroscopium / Ensamble Studio

© Roland Halbe

Design Feature:

  • Speaking of the spaces of this building is put to the imagination of space and light, windows surrounding environments and invite all to participate in the gentle landscape of the mountains or to achieve privacy by curtains adjustable slats.
  • The patio on the ground floor offers a protected site but open to the wind. There is a pool located more conventional than the top floor. On this floor are spaces dedicated to the kitchen and large rooms.
Casa-Hemeroscopium-By-Ensamble-Studio-07-759x569 Casa Hemeroscopium / Ensamble Studio

© Roland Halbe

  • The upper floor is located the area of the bedroom, from one of them has access to swimming pool whose end seems lost among the treetops.
  • The long pool beam into the air on the first floor is one of the most photographed images of the house and seen from below seem to be rushing to the garden, as if it were a giant flashing, leading some observers to vertigo.
Casa-Hemeroscopium-By-Ensamble-Studio-08 Casa Hemeroscopium / Ensamble Studio

© Roland Halbe

  • Hemeroscopium expressed physically with a stacking order structural form helical increasingly slight upstream, making the house in a light, transparent, and making the space inside turn filled with life, is a structure concrete cantilever.
  • The stacking order structural helicoid that generates a stable support from the parent beam, to be developed upstream structures increasingly close to the light sequence that culminates with a system of balance. Moreover, the huge pieces of concrete are based on one another in a balance that keeps at bay a large block of granite 20 tons as a counterweight.
  • There are seven elements whose encounters respond constructively to their nature, their demands, their efforts and express their structural condition.


Ensamble Studio:

For the Greek, Hemeroscopium is the place where the sun sets. An allusion to a place that exists only in our mind, in our senses, that is ever-changing and mutable, but is nonetheless real. It is delimited by the references of the horizon, by the physical limits, defined by light, and it happens in time.

Casa-Hemeroscopium-By-Ensamble-Studio-24 Casa Hemeroscopium / Ensamble Studio

© Ensamble Studio

Hemeroscopium house traps, a domestic space, and a distant horizon. And it does so playing a game with structures placed in an apparently unstable balance, that enclose the living spaces allowing the vision to escape. With heavy structures and big actions, disposed in a way to provoke gravity to move the space. And this way it defines the place.

Casa-Hemeroscopium-By-Ensamble-Studio-11-759x436 Casa Hemeroscopium / Ensamble Studio

© Ensamble Studio

The order in which these structures are piled up generates a helix that sets out from a stable support, the mother beam, and develops upwards in a sequence of elements that become lighter as the structure grows, closing on a point that culminates the system of equilibrium. Seven elements in total. The design of their joints respond to their constructive nature, to their forces; and their stresses express the structural condition they have. By the way this structure is set, the house becomes aerial, light, transparent, and the space kept inside flows with life. The apparent simplicity of the structure´s joints requires in fact the development of complex calculations, due to the reinforcement, and the pre-stress and post-tension of the steel rods that sew the web of the beams.

Casa-Hemeroscopium-By-Ensamble-Studio-12-759x254 Casa Hemeroscopium / Ensamble Studio

© Ensamble Studio

It took us a year to engineer but only seven days to build the structure, thanks to a total prefabrication of the different elements and a perfectly coordinated rhythm of assembly. All of our effort oriented to develop the technique that would allow to create a very specific space. And thus, a new astonishing language is invented, where form disappears giving way to the naked space. Hemeroscopium house materializes the peak of its equilibrium with what in Ensamble Studio we ironically call the “G point”, a twenty ton granite stone, expression of the force of gravity and a physical counterweight to the whole structure.

Casa-Hemeroscopium-By-Ensamble-Studio-29-759x568 Casa Hemeroscopium / Ensamble Studio

© Ensamble Studio

Project Data:

Project name: Casa Hemeroscopium
Location: Calle Cabo Candelaria, 9, 28290 Las Rozas, Spain
Coordinates: 40.539922, -3.921341

  • Type By Characteristic: Contemporary House, Luxury House
  • Type By Site: Countryside / Suburb House
  • Type By Size: Big House – (451 sqm – 650 sqm)
  • Type By Materials: Concrete House

Footprint area: 400 m2
Project start: December 2005
Completion Year: June 2008

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: Hemeroscopium
Architects: Ensamble Studio – Cabo candelaria 9B, 28290, Las Rozas, Madrid,
Project architect: Antón García-Abril
Project team: Elena Pérez, Débora Mesa, Marina Otero, Ricardo Sanz, Jorge Consuegra
Quantity surveyor: Javier Cuesta
Construction company: Materia Inorgánica
Text Description: © Courtesy of Ensamble Studio
Images: © Roland Halbe, Ensamble Studio

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Casa Hemeroscopium / Ensamble Studio
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