We faced the challenge of modernizing an old country house and turn it into a realm of peace and quiet, which we did by comprehensively working both on the architectural and landscape areas. We renewed the façade, did civil work on the pavings and the swimmimg pool and built retaining walls, creating new forge ironworks for the archways, walls and fences. Gardening, irrigation and the reservoir, as well as lightning, furniture and accessories were also comprehensively delt with. But our main wager was recreating the owners’ dream; Spanish citizens, with deep Hispanic roots which they do not want to forget, their aim was to enjoy the tranquility, the light, color and aromas typical to a Nazari garden. This lead us to think of a unique garden, creating a gorgeous compound, housing this delicate mixture between Hispanic and Muslim cultures, as a symbol of Peace among them.
We decided to design a classic cross-shaped pattern; this was repeated on the lighting structures (arabic light-beacons, hanging lamps and backlighted archways, in a dialogue with epigraphic inscriptions resembling the Kufic from the Alhambra) that also appear in the bas-relieves placed on the forge retaining walls, adding a Classic Renaissance structure with a lawn area in the shape of a cross and with a Nazari canal along it, and we built different axis points, in order to get different perspectives of the garden.
Leaving aside the technical aspects of the work, we must emphasize that the whole complex is embedded by our literary narrative, a story in which the proprietors play an essential part, hence achieving the final goal of our work: that the estate and the project conform a lasting legacy. And of course, without disregarding any of the usual functionalities of a garden: family use areas, such as a welcome area and vehicle access, a sports area, pathways with surrounding gardens all around the home, several porches placed in the south and west wings, a solarium by the pool, games area with a swing on a tree, an orchard, a spare garden with walking and reading areas… And all that with low maintenance requirements.
Besides this, we found big holm oaks on the state but the house was on a lower level, so we decided to divide the work in both levels; this way, the lower one would serve for the home needs -enlarged by the distinct panoramic set by the ditch extending from east to west- and left the upper level as spare garden and miscellaneous use area, setting the focus on three lamp towers (Almenaras) between 9 and 15 feet high each. Regarding the arboreal plant material, we used different species, such as holm, cypress, orange, pomegranate and palm trees, also bushes like lavender, thyme and jasmine, and finally, more flowery and grassy species like daisy, periwinkle and fresh mint.
Project location: Madrid (Spain)
Year Built: 2016