In Villalba de los Barros, in the south of the region of Extremadura, Estudio Lucas y Hernández-Gil has renovated one of the small town’s whitewashed houses, blending new and preexisting.
The area where the town is located is called Tierra de Barros because of the deep red tone of its clayey soil. The project involved a rural inn on the main square, a two-story construction containing four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a hallway, a sitting room, a kitchen, a dining room, a patio, and a cellar. The strategy of the architects was to highlight the original features of the existing building, and preserve its character in the new ones, even with the incorporation of current uses and details.
Structurally the building is held up by loadbearing walls and an Extremaduran (timbrel) vault at ground level, which accommodates the more social and public parts of the program. New openings are made on this level in order to create more space and connections between rooms.
As for interior materials and finishes, again the intention was to maintain the house’s atmosphere of the past, so the lost original flooring was reinstalled, handmade by local ceramicists.