In this year’s edition of the ‘bulthaup | the kitchen as a living space’ award, the jury panel granted the first mention to Casa Mac, a project designed by the La Errería architecture firm, for its “spatial concept in which the kitchen emerges as a central element within a space generated by its empty areas.”
Small is beautiful
"Small is beautiful" is the leitmotif of the Casa Mac project, designed by La Errería. The motto represents a manifesto of sorts advocating a small scale, what is measured in empty spaces, in cubic meters of air. It is, as the architects note, a therapy of simplicity after the excesses of recent times in which luxury was measured in terms of available surface area.
The project, developed as a single-family home, is right in the historic center of Novelda (Alicante). It maintains the original façade from the 1920s as an enclosure, secured with a concrete slurry wall reinforced from the inside. This false façade acts as a trompe-l’oeil and envelops the new construction, erected on the site that opened up after the former house was gutted, thus preserving the original sequence of volumes and decorative elements along the street.
A house viewed as a container
The new home was conceived as a large container defined by its two façades, the party walls —where the original stone was exposed after removing the former layer of stucco— and the roof. The interior space is broken down into a ground floor and three levels connected by an open concrete staircase. The lower floor, designed as an open day area and flanked by two courtyards in the front and back, leads to the upper levels, where we find two bedrooms with their respective bathrooms and a work and library area, all suspended like independent cabins. The resulting interplay of empty and full spaces blurs the boundaries between inside and out, between public and private.
The kitchen as a workshop
The kitchen as a workshop
The kitchen was laid out with a bulthaup b2 workbench that includes cooking, water, and preparation areas. The austerity and lightness of the workbench, prioritizing free circulation and movement, are entirely consistent with the underlying logic of the home as a whole, turning the kitchen into a laboratory of sorts at the central hub of the daytime area. An informal, open place horizontally and vertically connected to a space full of voids: an invitation to search, experiment, exchange, and, ultimately, engage in social interaction.
Kitchen: in collaboration with bulthaup Lleida
Photographer: David Frutos