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Energy Efficient Home with Recycled Wood Exteriors and Interiors

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Located in the Arousa estuary in Spain, this house is a great example of sustainable building. On the one side there is the use of reclaimed wood from the local fishing industry, and on the other the low energy consumption of the house, thanks to its very good insulation and complex ventilation system. Designed by architect Inaki Leite, the house is made of two wings that diverge from a central core, overlapping at first and then continuing their separate way. The materials used are the same in both wings- concrete, reclaimed wood and glass- but their use is different from wing to wing. The right wing of the house is covered in wood on the outside, while the inside is in concrete. The wooden slats reclaimed from the “bateas”- wooden platforms floating on the sea used in the mussel production- have been cut in two lengthwise, thus obtaining two different textures. The old-wood side is used to cover the facade of the right wing, while the freshly cut side is used for the inside cladding of the left wing of the house. Consisting of the private, night area of the house, the right wing is bigger in size and its second floor overlaps the left wing partially. The smaller left wing is treated differently in terms of materials, with bare concrete and glass facades and reclaimed wood lined walls and ceiling on the inside. This part is dedicated to the communal area of the house and its southern facade is completely glazed, opening great views on the sea.

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In the right wing, the windows are protected by folding shutters made of the same wood like the facade and perfectly aligned. Thus, when the shutters are closed, from the outside this part of the house looks like a wooden rectangular box. On the inside, the bedrooms are totally protected from light and well insulated.

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The color and texture of the wood used in facade tell the story of the more than 25 years that these wooden beams have spent at sea.

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Projecting out of the bigger right wing, the left wing seems to have been turned inside out, as it comes with concrete facades and wood covered interiors. The fully glazed southern facade slides open on a ramp deck that leads to a small lawn garden.

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Except for the back wall painted white, all the other walls, including floor and ceiling, are covered in the same reclaimed wood from the sea platforms. This time though the color and the texture are different, since the freshly cut side of the beam is visible here. The open plan of this pavilion is dedicated to the kitchen, big dining area and living space. With cozy contemporary design, the space benefits from a lot of sunshine and light, and when the glazed facades are open there is no more boundary between indoors and outdoors.

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In wood and stainless steel, the kitchen is completely integrated in the design. The grey stone counter top of the island cantilevers on one side to create an informal seating and eating spot for two.

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The cold concrete stairs going down to the garage are warmed up by small patches of burgundy colored carped that match the burgundy design pendant lamp hanging in the staircase.

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Despite the concrete walls, the bedrooms are made cozy with warm textiles, like rugs and throws. Outside the windows, the flat roof of the right wing is covered with small stones and gravel, making it look like a beach and thus creating and infinity-like view on the sea.

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The bathrooms are enclosed into cubes and are situated inside the bedrooms. On two sides the walls are made of frozen glass, which allows for privacy but also brings in a diffuse, relaxing light.

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