An Old Reservoir Becomes a Modern Home in Madrid

Spain's Alejandro Valdivieso was tasked with transforming a decades-old cistern into a usable home for its owners. In response, the architect crafted an inventive, contemporary residence dubbed Casa Aljibe.

Translating into Cistern House, Casa Aljibe curves around the cite of the original well. The rear of the house accounts for the rocky terrain, while the glass-ensconced facade allows for luxurious views of the surrounding flora and fauna. Instead of merely paving over or filling up the cistern, Valdivieso elected to shape the space into the home's basement and added a retaining wall for support. Existing brick, stone and concrete walls were utilized as the foundation of the new structure, and lightweight materials were sourced to complete the build. Inside, prefabricated timber lends an air of homeyness not easily achieved with rougher materials like metal and stone.

The completed build is located in the quiet town of Alpedrete. In other news, Tadao Ando recently completed a massive 5,600-square-foot penthouse in New York.

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