SPLASH Design: Manuel Ocaña Architecture&Thought Production Office
They come to us because there is a problem. Their private garden, that used to have sunset views over an infinity pool, has recently been blocked by a big raw grey 15×9 mts. wall.
They feel emotionally affected by that threatening wall whose spatial and material properties are by all means negative. It is flat, raw, hard, dry, dull, gloomy, gray, challenging and impenetrable.
The concept must go far beyond a regular vertical garden. They have already discarded former projects. A simple green wall does not keep it from still being a wall. Negative properties are alleviated, not eliminated.
We propose an active element that reacts to light and climate issues, with reflections, vegetation and sprayed water. Besides creating a new horizon, it climatizes the garden and creates new spaces and tours on it. To be clear, it is a toy that can recall their previous sunset experience.
There are technical difficulties, related to previous conditions and production development.
Previous conditions difficulties are that we need an independent structure. We can not rely on the bad wall and there are only three areas of support at different heights. We must avoid and respect water treatment plants, the infinity pool and the stairs that go down to a basement. And, last but not least, we must make the structure modular, since all of it must go through a 2×1 mts. regular entrance door.
Production develoment difficulties are mainly related to the neccesity of micropiling in controversial areas and mounting 33 structural modules (all different and decreasing in thickness towards the sky) without scaffolding. On the other hand we had to make several prototypes of the elements that would provide the reflections. The circular mirrors. They were executed in polished stainless steel and cylindrically curved to avoid glaring. They are adjustable, heating proof beacuse of the curved shape, getting the appearance of metallic petals. A network of 60 nebulizers fixed to fork pieces that come out perpendicularly from the structure modules forms a sprayed water cloud, creating its own microclimate. These forks are also intended to allow vegetation to spill over the mirrors, giving more depth to the thing.
The result is a new horizon that floods both garden and house, attracting several species of birds. Its spatial and material properties have now tunred positive. It is deep, vivid, wet, changing, bright, colorful, reflective, refreshing, overflowing, moldable, fibrous, empathetic and sexy.
Design: Manuel Ocaña Architecture&Thought Production Office Production: Manuel Ocaña Fast&Furious Production Office Client: Private Location: Dehesa de la Villa. Madrid. Spain Photography: Miguel de Guzmán / Rocío Romero Landscaping: Jorge Basarrate Structural Consultant: JF de la Torre