The restoration of the house located at Sabino No.190, in the heart of Santa María la Ribera, was carried out by C·Cubica arquitectos with a sensitive and respectful approach to the existing building. Behind a facade of only 11 meters in width, a linear construction extends more than 45 meters deep. The house is a clear witness of the city’s transformation, showing different restorations over time, having had many different residents over the years. Therefore, its design and confined spaces had developed in a somewhat erratic manner.

As the main purpose of Casa Gallina is to be a center for community interaction, it was important to open spaces according to a interwoven yet dynamic and simple architectural plan. As a result, the house underwent a transformation from a private house closed to the outside into a public space with a leading role in the community that always encourages neighbors’ interaction. In an attempt to keep pre-existing elements as much as possible, only certain walls were demolished and some unused spaces were altered to create broader multipurpose spaces. After studying the building’s design and the needs of the new users, a harmony was achieved between the architectural program and previous spaces. The objective of Casa Gallina’s current restoration is to reach out to the community by having a positive impact in the ways and dynamics of interactions of its members.

Process

February

As of December, work at the house began by cleaning the walls and those structures that were added over time. Once the original blueprints were adjusted, the expanding of spaces inside the house began, flattening lumps and restoring the pitch of rooftops, and repairing gutters

March

After meticulous adjustments to the traffic patterns and the internal connections in the space, the structural reinforcement began, including salvaging the iron windows and traditional mosaic floors. The plumbing and the electrical installation were updated while an added building in the back was demolished to recover the existing garden that will provide space for Casa Gallina’s urban farm.

July

Casa Gallina’s remodeling was completed in July, with designated areas for a residence for commissioned artists, a workspace, and an area for community exchange. As planned, the remodeling work maintained the original structure of the building: historical floors, fittings, colors and finishes of the house, as well as the fluidity between the interior and exterior.

The project supports the concept of the house as a gathering space. Far from any attempt at being aspirational, stylized, or linked to consumption, the focus is on the enjoyment of being there and of sharing in an environment open to exchange and to nature. Thus, the atmosphere in the house encourages us to rethink our daily inertia, and to question our relationships and consumption habits.