Double Reading
About the Double House in Almonacid (Zaragoza, Spain) of Langarita-Navarro architects.
Pasajes Diseño #22, September, 2010

The desires of a couple can provide all you need to build a new house that satisfy them all without giving up at any time any of them, duplicating instead of synthesizing. Can these same desires and their consequences answer also a question about a more universal reality?


Photo by Luis Diaz Diaz.

This house, the Double, the one that expresses the desires of its inhabitants, the one that instead of homogenize a bunch of yearnings or bring them into one single space proposes, as the authors say, the coexistence of two different housing formats that promote a permanent state of transition from one to another, this house, is also talking us about frailty. And insecurity.
In a parallel reading, more abstract and intriguing, these intermediate spaces with lattices and more natural materials, with a more gentle connection with the nature around, spaces of ambiguous geometries, and mostly because of this, the most relevant spaces of this house, they reveal an exceptional metaphor of the world in which we live. Because we do not wish just to possess the space, but also in a way, and more intuitively than accurately, to assist it.
The inhabitants and the architects, in an attempt to get closer to the nature surrounding them and to demonstrate their appreciation to the environment in which they will live, they have signed unconsciously an agreement whereby they will stay away from that very same nature thanks to a three dimensional grid. As if with their desire of getting closer, they would have also understood the necessity of giving a much more ambitious answer. If back in History nature was something that we needed to be protected from, now and for too long already, nature has been tamed and has been exposed to the dangers we generate. Nature now has to be protected and Architecture is not only responding to our needs of protecting us from her, but also to safeguard her. The inhabitants have been transform, for the sake of this nature, in the old beasts.
If when it rains we shelter and when we are threaten we fight, what is happening when we have the disturbing need of getting away of what we love?