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Compluvium House, Madrid, Spain by Fran Silvestre Arquitectos

Project name:
Compluvium House
Architecture firm:
Fran Silvestre Arquitectos
Madrid, Spain
Jesús Orrico
Principal architect:
Fran Silvestre, Carlos Lucas
Design team:
BUILDING ENGINEER CONSULTANTS: Consuelo Astasio | Technical Architect of the Project; María Masià, Pablo Camarasa, Ricardo Candela, Estefania Soriano, Sevak Asatrián, José María Ibañez, Andrea Baldo, Angelo Brollo, Paloma Feng, Javi Herrero, Gino Brollo, Paco Chinesta, Facundo Castro, Anna Alfanjarín, Laura Bueno, Toni Cremades, Susana León, David Cirocchi, Neus Roso, Nuria Doménech, Andrea Raga, Olga Martín, Víctor González, Pepe Llop, Monike Teodoro, Alberto Bianchi, Lucía Domingo, FSilvestreArquitectos, FSArquitectos, Alejandro Pascual, Pablo Simò, Andrea Blasco, Ana Bono, Claudia Escorcia, Laura Palacio, Carlos Perez, Jovita Cortijo, Ana de Pablo, Sara Atienza, Valeria Fernandini, Sandra Mazcuñán, Kateryna Spuziak, Julián Garcia
Interior design:
Alfaro Hofmann
Built area:
629 m²
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Estructuras Singulares
Environmental & MEP:
Tools used:
Project Work S.L
Concrete, Glass
Residential › House

Fran Silvestre Arquitectos: The ancient Greeks, Etruscans and Romans implemented in their aristocratic residences a new architectural system known as compluvium, designed to divert rainwater into the impluvium. This structure, located in the heart of the domus, not only had an initial practical function of expelling smoke from internal fires, but also evolved to improve fundamental aspects such as natural lighting, room ventilation and the efficient accumulation of rainwater.

Over time, the compluvium increased in size and complexity, becoming a crucial element for the aesthetics and functionality of the house, optimizing the comfort and well-being of its residents. This system not only reflected the technical sophistication of these cultures, but also underscored the importance of water as a central resource in domestic and ritual life.

In the contemporary context of this house located in the center of Madrid, this architectural tradition is reinterpreted to adapt to current needs. The house, like the ancient domus, uses a central element that provides privacy from neighboring buildings while organizing the interior space. The rooms and common areas are distributed around this core, opening views toward the interior courtyard.

The dual functionality of this design allows the house to enjoy an open and fluid spatiality, while maintaining a protected atmosphere. The interaction between the interior and exterior is enriched by the presence of a sheet of water in the courtyard, which not only refreshes the environment but also provides a visual and acoustic focal point. This sheet of water is strategically placed to take advantage of the elevated views over the adjacent houses, offering a visual showcase to the sky and the natural elements, recalling the original functionality of the Roman compluvium.

By Liliana Alvarez

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