REI House by CRUX Arquitectos was designed around the changing needs of a family. The project began by questioning the notion of a dwelling and considering how the spaces transform throughout the day and over time to create a flexible and interactive interior. The architects adopted the concept of the ‘basilica plan’, which comprises connected naves of varying functions, so the residence is designed around adaptable spaces that afford different uses.
The layout consists of three naves. The central nave holds the main functions: eating, chatting, resting and playing. Slender tubular metal columns separate the central area from the ambulatory, while the side aisles are shaped as ‘sacristies’. This spatial configuration transcends traditional housing types as it allows the inhabitants to transform and appropriate the place with unexpected uses.
The three naves can be conveniently compartmentalized with railings, curtains or dry partition systems. At some points the three naves merge into two, or one. They extend to the outside, they become a terrace. They even dig the floor and connect to the lower level. The net in the double height volume sifts the light to illuminate the central spaces of the first floor. The false ceiling appears where necessary, allowing the ceiling of the central areas to be exposed, revealing the curved concrete vault, thus giving the house a certain character.
In addition to adding a layer of protection and refuge, mesh fence allows looking out, courting as in medieval romances. The house also takes advantage of the best orientation in this area, allowing long visuals and continuous contact with the outside. cross ventilation is afforded as a natural air conditioner, taking away the need for an energy-consuming device to cool the indoor temperature in summer.