Casa Vives

The project contemplated the addition to an existing single-family residence as an additional apartment in an upper level, as well as a gym and a pool in the ground floor, thus creating a new opening for an inner courtyard in a historic setting.

During the initial design process archeological digs were carried out, which allowed the recovery of major stages of the process of building the city wall. In order to prevent this from being destroyed, the proposal was redesigned and the pool was relocated.

Of the original structure only the front façade and the city wall were left as the project’s limiting elements, since the rest of the building had already been demolished by the previous owner. The creation of a new inner façade was proposed, to imitate the architectural details of the next-door property but at the same time maintaining the modern features of the new proposal.

This house was planned since the beginning as an architectural experiment of environmental sustainability in a historic urban setting. The proposal sought to use stone masonry walls; walls, furniture, and floors made of wood recovered from the Panama Canal lakes; a solar energy system and green roofs as ways to minimize the project’s environmental footprint.

The internal architecture was conceived through details generated by the work materials. The stairs responded to a sculptural design created through formwork, the original stone masonry was recovered and adapted as part of the living room decoration.