London–based Steyn Studio designed a three-bedroom home on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain, that stands out from its neighbors with a striking sawtooth roof. The project is nicknamed the Sierra House for both its peaked profile and its location in one of Madrid’s northwestern neighborhoods between Mirasierra and Montecarmelo.
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The design team sought to accommodate the spatial requirements of the client while abiding by local building height restrictions. In order to achieve both, Steyn Studio created two roof peaks that provide headroom on the upper floors—instead of a tall, central gable that wouldn’t comply with the height regulations.
In addition to height regulations, the local planning commission restricts buildable square footage per lot, ultimately resulting in many homes with very similar appearances. The asymmetrical sawtooth roofline makes the 2,885-square-foot home stand out from its neighbors, and it also provides a space to hide mechanical equipment and solar panels so that they aren't as visible from the street.
The home’s concrete and stone exterior references its location at the edge of the city, and the transition to the rocky mountains beyond. The facade facing the main street combines vertical wood battens, metal mesh, and two different types of stone for a textured palette in neutral tones.
The site measures only about 22 feet wide, so the architects needed to maximize every square foot of space. Steyn Studio did this through tall ceilings, level changes, and screened spaces that play with the scale and sight lines of rooms.
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The textures and tones of the exterior materials carry through to the interior. The walls are board-formed concrete, and the floors are covered with smooth stone tiles. On the upper level, the bedrooms are bright and light, with high-pitched ceilings clad in wood boards similar in tone to the wood flooring.
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Technical Architect: Roberto Rapino Carmona, Arnaiz Consultores
Structural Engineer: Elías Martínez Alegria, A6 Ingenieria