Casa del Nogal / Raúl Almenara

Located in full connection with nature, in an old orchard surrounded by a wall of granite stones, Nogal is a single-family home designed with the appearance of a giant rock, a huge inert being that nevertheless harbors life.

Architects: Raúl Almenara
Location: Ávila‎, Spain
Photography: Raúl Almenara

This very genuine concept is developed under the shade and surroundings of an imposing Walnut tree, the epicenter and soul of the project. Of Persian origin, with deep roots, with dense and elongated shadows. Made of robust wood and majestic bearing. The walnut is probably one of the trees whose presence cannot go unnoticed, it is one of the kings of nature.

The project is conceived as a large granite rock from the Sierra de Ávila, which is deformed around the walnut tree, to which it pays homage. It thus becomes a large curved solid with a stony character, it is interior sculpted in the same stone to house the spaces of domestic life.

The house, linked to the landscape, would be one more stone, typical of the landscapes of Sierra de Ávila. Hence the decision to finish the façade: a large granite wall that bets on the condition of being solid as opposed to being permeable. A solution that is taken to the extreme, covering even the access doors of the home with this material. The roof is also covered with the same material, with the aim of giving continuity to the volume, generating the concept of a solid.

The roof takes up the vernacular language of the area, leaning only on a slope that sculpts the solid on its upper face, faceting it both on the outside and on the inside, which causes a large sloping roof.

The house consists of three large openings to nature, which create a home full of light; a first opening around which the house revolves with views of the garden – walnut. It is a large curved glass of large dimensions, a single piece and curved specifically and by hand for the home. A second opening to the frontal landscape, with views of the area’s transhumance. The third large opening consists of a multitude of windows, and is a look at the sky, at the stars. It connects the bedrooms with the sky, making it possible to fall asleep looking at the stars. The rest of the façade is completely opaque, preventing the relationship of the house with the urban environment, betting on a strategic connection with nature.