The Desert House, vernacular and avant-garde architecture


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The Desert House, vernacular and avant-garde architecture


Within the world of architecture, straight, clean and pure line designs are increasingly important. What is sought is to create a feeling of lightness while imposing, predominantly the use of glass or other reflective materials. It can be said that they are styles where simplicity and avant-garde go hand in hand.

The Desert House of Guardian Glass

This house was designed following all the premises of the most avant-garde architecture, something that has managed to get the attention of international media, which have seen in this house an example of sustainable and respectful nature housing.

In addition to that, La Casa del Desierto is a house made entirely of glass, which contrasts sharply with the traditional architecture of the place where it is located; the Gorafe desert, in the Guadix region (Granada).

The cave houses of the Guadix region

The vernacular architecture of the different geographical areas is, in many cases, an architecture that seeks to respond to an ecosystem and specific environmental conditions, trying to find the solution to habitability problems.

Factors such as orography, temperatures, sun, wind, rain, or the availability of materials and water, play an important role in determining the needs of the human habitat. Consequently, the construction methods, as well as the layout or morphology of the constructions, will be marked by these conditions.

This is the case with the Guadix region, one of the most unique and special rural areas in Spain. It is among the most authentic and interesting cases of Spanish vernacular architecture, with the so-called troglodyte dwellings or cave houses, characterized by their beauty and their typism. In this region there are almost 2,500. Even today they are still inhabited and built.

These houses have been excavated in the clay mountain, a natural insulator that causes the temperature inside to range between 18ºC and 21ºC; warm in winter and fresh in summer. An isothermal that they are capable of maintaining throughout the year, despite the fact that the weather has very seasonally contrasted conditions. In addition to this thermal comfort, these homes are characterized by silence and tranquility that are breathed inside.

Cave houses; inspiration and contrast for The Desert House

This region and its architecture were inspiration, but also contrast, for the creators of La Casa del Desierto. Through a construction so apparently opposite to the vernacular, we have tried to create a house that achieves the same objectives that the inhabitants of the region sought with the construction of their dwellings-caves. Tradition and modernity go hand in hand through an architecture that seeks to face the same challenges and make the lives of its inhabitants more comfortable, where the outside temperature is not an impediment to achieve a comfortable interior, and where the house is a paddle of peace and silence, the ideal place for rest. In La Casa del Desierto we have achieved it thanks to a triple layer glass that protects the house from cold and heat. This house is an experiment with which we wanted to demonstrate that, with the right glass, maximum comfort can be achieved inside the house regardless of cold, heat, or noise outside. A glass that, anyone who wants it, can have in their home.

Špela agrees to point out that, in this type of desert environment, the most difficult thing is to deal with extreme temperatures, with peaks of up to 45º during the day and that they can be 0º at night. “When designing the House, the most important thing was to achieve the best possible performance in the most extreme conditions, while maintaining the relationship between the interior and the natural environment outside. It was also necessary that the house had adequate structural resistance against strong wind and all vertical forces. ”


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