Prefabricated houses How to make a home in 80 days?

What human activity is comfortable installed in the pre-industrial era and does not want to know anything about machines?
In fact, almost all the productive sectors of the western world are overcoming the industrial revolution to enter fully into the digital world. There is talk of incorporating information into objects so that they interact with people (the Internet of things) and the economy of developed countries begins to pivot around information, relegating the industry to a secondary role. Is it possible that in this situation we find ourselves with a sector that not only refuses to enter this format, but does not even seriously consider industrializing its processes? You are right. It is, no more, no less, than in the construction sector.

Although it seems incredible, the construction of houses, especially in our country, is absolutely reluctant to industrial processes and prefers to remain anchored in the tradition of bricks, load-bearing walls and structural columns whose antecedents are they go back to the era of Nebuchadnezzar. In the digital universe, residential construction continues to advance with plains, cement and bricks. The image of the virtual constructions in 3D contrasts to the one of the gentleman with a handkerchief of four knots. Welcome to the future.
Prefabricated homes are a reality with a long tradition, especially in areas such as the Nordic countries or the US. The advantages of this type of construction are many (speed, safety, comfort, aesthetics) although the price is not yet one of them. For prefabricated homes to be competitive compared to traditional ones, they would have to enjoy greater demand and in this way lower prices. The sense of property, so rooted in the collective unconscious of this country, is fulfilled when it comes to a construction like the ones before, solid, settled on the ground, billet. The prefabricated formats inspire distrust. Actually, for no reason.

There are many initiatives in this sense. Some are more fortunate than others and, although all clash with the general feeling, the feeling is that, over time, industrial construction will eventually prevail. The most obvious advantage is the low installation time of a new home. The second big advantage is the possibility of adapting each delivery to the customer's tastes. The industrialized houses are lighter and as safe and efficient from the energy point of view as those that more.
There are many good examples of these houses that have already overcome the horrible cliché of the wooden house and produce modules of very interesting formats and sizes. In our magazine we have sometimes published good examples of the great opportunity that this format means. The production with concrete or derivatives is the most likely in a country with a temperate climate like ours. But there are other examples and they are, each time, more convincing to the point where we begin to wonder what promotoras expect to work with these formats.

Study [baragaño] of Madrid has created an innovative format of modular housing with structure steel, manufactured in an assembly line, whose objective is to optimize the energy, material and human resources used in its construction.

B-home is made up of different modules that allow to systematize the design for the benefit of personalization and adaptation to various types of buildings. A housing of high quality, versatile and rational, with a delivery time of less than four months.

It is a flexible system that allows to choose between a series of exterior and interior finishes. In addition, it can be transported and stacked, which can lead to a collective housing building for example.

The home meets the highest energy efficiency requirements and quality levels required by the Technical Code of the Edification. It has innovative materials and systems that contribute to saving energy. In this context the Soleal sliding windows from Technal stand out, providing the necessary features to guarantee maximum comfort inside. Its versatility both in design – it has three different leaf finishes – and in its features – it offers modules of 55, 65 and 75 mm -, make this aluminum carpentry with breakage of the thermal bridge an ideal option for a project of these characteristics.

The "B home" is among the finalist works of the XIII Spanish Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism. She has also been awarded the first mention in the Palmarés Architecture Aluminum Technal 2015 in the "Habitar" category.

Science explains why we like a house in front of the cliff

Although we are not aware we are innately attracted to places that have characteristics that for our ancestors could have made the difference between life and death. The instinct of survival is also linked to the environment, obviously, and we have not yet forgotten it completely. This explains that, many millennia later, the most expensive and listed homes are usually located on the top of a hill or on the face of a cliff, oriented to large areas of water. Although we live in environments that differ greatly from those of our ancestors, our brains drag marked hereditary traces that explain our preferences for certain spatial models such as those linked to nature and part of the brain wiring responsible for this inclination is similar to that involved in our desire. of food and sex. We develop a congenital preference for locations that allow us to see what is happening around us (perspective) but, at the same time, we need to feel protected and protected (refuge).

Images of the house Na Xemena in Ibiza, projected by Ramón Esteve, photos by Eugeni Pons

These interesting conclusions are part of the work "Psychogeography" by the Canadian Colin Ellard, cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Waterloo, who works closely with urban planners, architects and designers, and is one of of the world's leading experts in the conduct of people in relation to their environments.
Science discovers the psychological implications that derive from the spaces where we develop our lives and explains through them some urban and other dysfunctions things that seemed obvious to us, even without understanding them. Now it makes more sense, for example, the need to create green areas in cities, even as vents for the soul from the windows of the apartments.

The applications of this knowledge in the face of health are very evident. Domestic environments can be adapted to these needs and, with the help of home automation, to orient the atmosphere of a room or room to the mood of the people, attenuating the lights, maneuvering with layers of music, aromas, windows or the audiovisual equipment. The idea is that the environment accompanies us instead of allowing us to adapt ourselves to a specific space. The house becomes like this, in a machine of positive energy thought to be made to the mental measures of each person. Knowing our predilection for certain types of images related to nature, it is easy to foresee people's environmental preferences, especially in cities, and to prepare spaces accordingly. The success of companies that install backlit images simulating landscapes through windows or skylights, explains this fact.

Commercial space designers know perfectly the tricks to get customers to stay longer in the environment of the store: air conditioning, olfactory signal, lighting, mirrors … Strategies to increase the feeling of well-being of customers and their decision to purchase. In homes, the objectives must be very different (even if the strategies are similar): improve the quality of life, the health of people and their capacity for intellectual and human growth. Nothing will replace the experience of a walk in the mountains, but it is good to try to fix the sensations that it provokes in our living environment.

Ylab Architects: "We like complex projects and with a dose of ambiguity"

YLAB Arquitectos is a studio formed by Yolanda Yuste and Tobías Laarmann, professionals trained in Germany who lived in Berlin the boom of architecture. His studio in Barcelona has an interesting portfolio of international clients who value his way of proposing a project based more on concept than on styles.

Explain briefly the history of the Ylab study.

We are both trained in Germany, first in a technical university and then in an art school, where we study in a very interdisciplinary way together with designers from other fields and collaborating with foreign universities such as AA or UCLA. We were lucky to live in Berlin, during the boom of architecture and dot-com companies after the reunification of Germany, in an environment full of energy and possibilities. As students, he gave us the opportunity to accumulate a lot of experience in small and large offices, such as Nouvel, Piano or Foster. When we moved to Barcelona, ​​we were ready to set up our own studio and collaborate with offices in Spain and abroad. Having worked with such different studies was a good way to learn to develop a flexible approach, more linked to the concept than style.

How is the study prepared to provide an effective integral service to its clients?

First of all with a clear business approach, developing the services and capabilities according to the type of orders we receive, with a very personal well prepared, with the necessary external collaborations, optimizing the size of the equipment to be able to offer a quality according to our expectations. This implies being selective with the orders and concentrating on those that fit our infrastructure, in which we can offer a better service, which requires customized and customized solutions. We try to follow the German or Anglo-Saxon project organization and service delivery system, which we believe is more effective and which our clients demand.

Headquarters of Inaugure de Ylab Arquitectos

How does the relationship with a new client arise?

Each new client means a completely different approach. First we strive to extract the essence of the information that our clients give us, analyze the variables and needs, put order and mediate between the different interests until finding the space in which they are. There is a first conceptual phase in which we work very intensively with them. Based on the analysis of the project, we developed a clear and strong concept, and we proposed different options, which we always contrasted with that of the client. The presentation of the contents is always graphic, we communicate through diagrams, sketches, drawings, renders … it is a phase very rich in content and it is vital that the client sees and understands the same as us. At the end of this phase we get a thoughtful proposal that usually does not change later.

How many professionals make up your study and how do you divide your work?

During the conceptual phase we like to work on a rotating basis, so that all We can make proposals and work on those of others. This allows creating a wide range of possibilities and involving the whole team. We discuss the solutions among all and select the best proposals. After this phase there is a linear and well-defined development of the project according to specific fields and phases. We need our internal team and external collaborators to have a multidisciplinary profile, we work with people with experience in the world of engineering, corporate design, brand creation, workplace consultancy, marketing … When we work on projects outside of Spain we prefer to work with companies from country where the commission comes from, which are the ones that understand the market the best and can advise us.

Housing in Diagonal Mar Barcelona, ​​project of Ylab

What is the difference between a residential project and a contract?

They are very similar and different at the same time. The methodology we use is practically the same: in both, everything revolves around the client's approach, its values, the identity it wants to project, its use of space … When we work in contract architecture we have to understand how the business works, how architecture can adapt and even improve that aspect, we talk about functionalities, to create an attractive image for employees, … In the residential field the ambition is basically the same, although the terms are different. In the contract we are specialized in the creation of new architectural brand concepts, this makes our contract and residential projects need a similar creative input, and the way to deal with them is analogous.

What is your usual work methodology?

Develop the project to give it definition and detail, in a way that is coherent with the concept initially proposed, reinforcing it to make it recognizable and strong through its different scales and to the last details. We are passionate about working out the details, proposing specific solutions, looking for special materials, designing customized joinery, integrating lighting … everything is basic, everything counts within the final set.

What technical advances do you most value in your profession?

We studied in a multidisciplinary school in Berlin that immediately understood the need to be at the forefront of computer programs, at a time when in many of the offices where we collaborated we still drew by hand. We get used to working with very diverse programs as a work tool, for the development of ideas: 3d design, graphic design, layout, animation or programming, in addition to traditional CAD programs. I would highlight 3D modeling, which allows us to check ideas inside space, from the perspective of the human eye, in movement. This is our way of projecting and making sketches. The tools designed to communicate and present ideas to customers seem equally important to us. We give a lot of value to a good presentation and to communicate the concepts with the client, because this allows us to take safe steps forward and work effectively.

Atryum Center in Dakar, Senegal, Ylab project

Offer custom furniture What happens with the offer in the market?

When it comes to developing an individual project and optimizing the space, custom furniture offers infinite possibilities. We enjoy developing furniture with intelligent solutions, functionalities adapted to the specific needs of the client, with finishes that fit with the rest of the design. Even so, we value a lot and closely follow the good furniture design that exists in the market, and we always complete the projects with furniture, lighting and commercial decoration. If the dimension of the project allows it, we like to work with companies that allow their products to be individualized.
What challenges does interior design pose for everything related to sustainability?

We believe that sustainability is fundamental, but it must be understood as a service tool: it is like a good installation, whose virtue is not to be seen and disappear within the design.

Can you mention a space that has moved you?

The visual saturation produced by the media makes it difficult to feel great emotions nowadays. Travel to new cultures and countries and find places that tell about their history, their environment, beyond their own architecture, can convey very intense sensations: the brutalist architecture of some countries in Eastern Europe, the gaps left by the war in a city …

Dental clinic Angels in Barcelona

Can you tell us something about the projects that are underway?

We are currently starting a business center in Giza, Egypt, a flagship building for a new generation arising from the transformations that the country is experiencing, which must formalize and reflect that change. We are also developing an exhibition and office pavilion for a new city in Senegal, a "smart city" called Diamniadia, which is one of the great projects of the new Africa. In Abidjan we are finalizing a headquarters for the Bridge Bank Group, a newly created bank aimed at small and medium enterprises. Within Spain we are also working on various residential and corporate projects.

YLAB Arquitectos, Yolanda Yuste, Tobías Laarmann. Pallars 85-91, 4-6. 08018 Barcelona. T. +34 934 864 807.
Interview: Marcel Benedito
Excerpt courtesy of Project Contract.

Excuses to stop time at the Salone de Milano

I've been going to the Salone in Milan for many years now every April and the visit does not cease to amaze me as if it were the first. For me and perhaps for many of us who are dedicated to flutter around the flowers of the design to extract some nectar and take it to our respective pages, or whatever – the school year begins the week of Salone. Before, everything is obsolete and perishable, future fleeting, past waste, murky. After visiting the Salone the light is made and we see clearly what this year is about. How the interiors of the season will be and, possibly, if we are observers, of the coming years; what materials are going to surround us with their arms, what forms come close to our sensibility, what will our environment look like if we like it to look healthy and promising. We return from Salone with the feeling of having visited the Casa del Futuro.
Clover de Alivar

The most difficult thing starts there: you have to explain it, put into words what, basically, are sensations. Yes … there are new and old materials, forms of work, style trends, technical innovations, little things that can be explained in black on white. But what about the emotions? And that indefinable that the great designers transmit with a stroke, in the curve of the backrest of a chair, on the textured surface of a dresser, in a semi-illuminated environment? Oh … How difficult it is to convey all that.

Design by Fabio Novembre for Cappellini

I admit feeling a little envious of my colleagues the technological journalists, who have nothing more than to explain in an intelligible way the technical advances of the latest Smartphone and already have the chronicle of its fair. And the same goes for those who are dedicated to scientific or technical issues. I'm thinking about the motor world, the food industry, advanced technologies, robotics, and even the long-awaited world of cinema. Technical advances are the key to the progress of the sector as they bring a plus of novelty and motivation to the industry, in addition to pushing through research always forward.

Aura de Treku
I read with interest the new contributions of these advances, as far as my understanding capacity goes and I learn that the future of communications and the company will depend on things like Big Data, Artificial Intelligence , 3D printers and the Internet of Things. Attentive to the play. Everything is going very fast, the world is accelerating and we are accustomed to adapt on the way to the new without having fully assimilated what has already become obsolete after one or two seasons. A two-year smartphone is already old: this is the current technology.
Cyborg de Magis

But after Milan I do not have that feeling of vertigo that the world in general and the news in particular produces me. After Milan I return home with my head full of images that inspire me with calm, quiet and introspection. I try to explain everything that I have seen and only come to my mind projections of delayed moments in front of a cup of coffee, evenings on the couch and walks in the garden at sunset. Time passes slowly and that is precisely the essence of the best we have seen this year in the show. Magnificent excuses to stop time. Objects and instruments designed to pass slowly, so that life slows down before a cup of tea that smokes.

Stua sewing

That is the contribution of furniture design and spaces to a better life, against the current of everything that pushes us forward very quickly following the indisputable logic of progress. That is the greatness of the design and taste of this year's nectar.

Each commission for interior design has its own truth, and the challenge is to find it

From the honesty of years of work in a cabinetmaking workshop to the incorporation of wood as the essence of interior design projects, there is a long and exciting journey that Miguel Seguí, accompanied by Inma Guzmán, has become a recognizable work that materializes in projects of a strong personality and a certain attachment to the earth. In the interview that follows, published in full in the Project Contract magazine of May, Miguel explains to us the complex conceptual framework hidden under the apparent simplicity of his works.

Restaurante La Deriva, Emealcubo project with neat woodwork

How do you complement an interior design and design studio, a carpentry workshop and a furniture store? [19659010] Each department feeds on the other two, and together they help each other. From the studio, interior design projects and furniture designs are generated, ideas are produced, plans are developed and presented to the client through infographics. From the workshop, technical support is given, solving constructive problems and studying how to optimize the execution of the designs to make them stronger and more economical. From the store / showroom, integrated into the studio space, some pieces of furniture that we have designed and manage the distribution of the extensive range of products offered by the market are exposed. Thanks to this company structure, the customer can receive a higher level of quality, more controlled manufacturing times and better prices.
What are the advantages of having an integrated carpentry workshop in the studio?
The integration of the workshop in the gear of Emealcubo has been a natural evolution in our company. Wood is the material that defines us, it is an essential part of the expressiveness of our designs. We are very seduced by the organic and tectonic quality of wood. No matter how disruptive a design may be, if it is in wood, it never loses contact with our memory, and consequently it always seems warm and welcoming. And it tends to please a very wide profile of people, including people with more classic tendencies. Indeed, the advantages of incorporating the workshop within Emealcubo are innumerable. The workshop becomes a space for experimentation, where we seek expressivity in meetings, in textures, in dyes and varnishes, and participating in the process of creating ideas. From the workshop prototypes of singular elements are made (such as the scale model 1/3 that we made for the inverted crater of the Office of Rafael Medina) to optimize constructive solutions. The design process becomes a complete idea-formalization-cutting-manufacturing experience. And in the end we all clearly benefited: the designer, the artisan and the client.
Explain briefly the history of the Emealcubo study.
I come from a family related to the world of construction. My great grandfather and my grandfather were builders, and my father, José Seguí, is an architect of great prestige, with which I have always been surrounded by stylographs, rulers, scalers, sketch paper, colored pencils and shoes filled with cement. I've always been hanging around my father's studio: before, during, and after finishing the architecture degree.
The first orders I received on my own were of interior design, and when I did not find pieces of furniture that completely integrated with the spaces I imagined, I ended up designing them myself. For some reason, many people were fascinated by these furniture designs, so I came up with the idea of ​​renting a place and setting up a showroom with a collection of designs of "boutique" furniture. Manufacturing piece by piece according to demand. Made in solid woods. And so, Emealcubo was born in 2006.
The founding partners are my wife, Inma Guzmán, and me. The initiative enjoyed a great reception, and soon the showroom was integrated with the interior design studio and the workshop to face the growing demand for integral projects of interior architecture.

Restaurante Richard de Málaga.
How many people are currently enrolled in the study and with what type of collaborators? from other areas you tend to work?
We currently have a living organizational chart, adaptable to the needs of each moment. For each project, there should always be a creative manager who makes sure to take the design idea to its final consequences, since that is the only way to get the expressiveness of the initial idea reflected in the final result with all the sharpness and possible strength. And in the end everything makes sense.
On the other hand, we believe in specialization. Interior design is a complex world. With a very broad scope of knowledge. Over the years we have tried different formulas of internal organization, with different profiles of professionals. And we have come to the conclusion that projects come out better and more complete if everyone exploits their own field of knowledge and develops mainly within a specific area. In this way, currently, all projects go through a chain of specialists (some internal, others external) who, together with the creative manager, develop each phase of the process.
You offer tailored furniture design for your clients. Is not enough with the offer available to the market?
Almost always, our obsession to achieve total integration in the spaces we design leads us to design each piece of furniture so that everything converges towards a unitary image. In fact, on some occasions, the essence of space is found in the very presence of the unique pieces of furniture we design. Many times it also happens that I simply take less time to draw a piece of furniture that I have in my head than to look for something similar in the market.
That said, the offer on the market is fantastic and I am constantly fascinated by the novelties and new signatures that the representatives bring me to the studio. And in fact, many times we have thrown away the catalog when we have found things that we feel really fit the idea. Although I recognize that our way of working usually involves the design of exclusive pieces made to measure.
What difference does it make to design a space to design an exterior furniture program?
We have clients of all kinds. From those who come looking for a single piece of furniture to those who have a rough space and need a complete interior design project. Obviously, acting on the whole of a space is easier than everything is perfectly integrated.
Either way, we enjoy both equally. Since in all situations the approach to the problem of design is the same. I remember always hearing my father talk about the beauty of design scales. From the design of a fork to the one of a general plan of ordination of a city.
In the faculty they taught me to convert the constraints of the project in the pretexts to make that project. And that valuable teaching has accompanied me all these years and will accompany me throughout my life, since I believe that in that maxim is the essence of the good designer. The idea is simple, and certainly optimistic and proactive: if in a room we find a problem or a peculiarity that goes out of the ordinary, we should not throw our hands to the head or try to hide it, hide it or eliminate it. On the contrary: we take advantage of it to make our project unique. We base all the creative effort on taking advantage of it to generate an idea that is formalized around this peculiarity, and that thanks to it, can be developed. It is the basis for personalized tailor-made designs: to become aware of the peculiarities of the place, of your client and the needs program and to draw from it a concept that solves all the problems with a single stroke and generates a unique and singular image. It is very exciting and almost magical the moment in which all these interests converge in a simple design that gives a new meaning to everything.

Necker Jazz Art Hall in Málaga, by Emealcubo

Do you think you have a defined style in your projects or do you adapt to each commission?
It's a mix of both. The architecture career is a double-edged sword. Since you are bombarded with reflections of all kinds, and each teacher is a world. With what on the one hand is very stimulating, but on the other you can end up disoriented. The subject of projects has little of science, and the same design can enchant a professor and another horrify him. This situation can generate a certain state of insecurity in which a point arrives that you do not know what to do to make a project right. So in the fourth year I started to make a list in my project notebook. The list was titled: "My absolute truths about architecture". I wanted to simplify everything. Start from scratch Reflect a modus operandi to project that no professor or future client could refute me. Well, the first absolute truth that I managed to write was: "Each project has its own truth". And I said to myself: "Well, we started well …"
Indeed, each new assignment has its own truth, and the challenge is basically to sensitize you enough to find it. Once you find it, if you really find it (sometimes you just believe it), the rest is as simple as filling out a form: you just have to be careful not to make mistakes.
Anyway, if I recognize that it has Many people said that I have a very recognizable style. Even people who have recognized my works without knowing that I had done them. Which gratifies me, since design is a projection of our personality. Of absolutely everything we are. And the fact that there is a recognizable line implies that I project everything that I am and have in each design. And that can only be good.
How does the relationship with a new client arise?
Well, the truth is, it's a very intuitive question. Like any designer, our work is not scientific, that is, there is no clear objective to reach. It is not like for example a mechanics workshop, they know they have to repair a vehicle and there are only two ways to do it: good or bad. That works or that does not work.
In our case there are many possible solutions, and among all of them there will be some with which the client will be identified and others will not. And the skill to be right lies mainly in the ability to intuit the customer's wishes in the first meetings.
If that work is not done well. If you do not do enough effort to capture, not only what you say, but what a client does not say, you will probably do the double work, since the first proposal will only serve to finish understanding what was really asked of us. And we will have lost time and money in realizing it. With what at the beginning we always like to talk to the client not only about the project he needs, but also about other things. Your wishes, your philosophy of life, your tastes, etc. Any data, even if it seems irrelevant, helps us to build the mental map with the route to a project idea that can inspire and hope.
Do you prefer to take on integral projects?
I enjoy designing a little table lounge as with a restaurant, since in the end both things follow the same design process, only at different scales. But I recognize that in an integral project there is an element that I love and that is very architectural: the possibility of walking inside the design. Go through it and feel the serenity it breathes. Observe how your client uses it and makes it his own. Visit it to time and see how it has aged, how it has been adapted to its daily use.
Can you mention a space that has moved you?
Well, generally the spaces that most affect me are the ones that I see that have behind them a powerful and singular idea that solves the project and that makes it perfect for that place. That they are integrated as if they had always been there. As if they were a living being and sensitive to what they find. I like the designs that manage to generate life. Activity around them. And I usually attract timeless spaces. Far away from the fashions. There are three examples that I have always loved:
Contemporary one: The accesses of the Louvre Museum, by I.M.Pei. How it is buried to emerge inside the historic building through a topography of stepped stone platforms. Leaving views to the outside only those glazed pyramids so perfect that they serve as skylights of the main hall.
Another classic: The Piazza del Campo in Siena. Whose inclined topography, joined to the pavement of mud bricks, which are heated by the sun throughout the day, generate a kind of "beach without sea" where people tend to sit or lie down. It is a beautiful public space with something special. With a lot of life.
And a personal one: I've always loved my childhood home, designed by my father, with interconnected interior spaces with precious triple heights. It is the most beautiful house I have seen.
EMEALCUBO Miguel Seguí, Architect and director of Emealcubo. Inma Guzmán Juan de Padilla Street, 7. Local. 29008, Málaga. SPAIN T. 952 210 306
Interview: Marcel Benedito. Photography portrait: Elisa Seguí. Photos: Miguel Seguí
Interview published courtesy of Project Contract.