09_Refurbishment of ‘Hotel Comercio’ to Housing for young | Oscar López Alba

2015 Edition, Spain


Project title: Refurbishment of ‘Hotel Comercio’ to Housing for young

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The project has been submitted by: Oscar López Alba




City: Monforte de Lemos, Lugo

Address: Doctor Gouanes square, 1



Designer or design team architects: Oscar López Alba


Plot Area: 287,7 sq.m.

Gross Area: 1078,41 sq.m.

Of which residential: 55 %
Public/communal areas: 18 %
Facilities for the public: 9 %
Business/trade: 18 %
Offices: 0 %

Number of residential units: 8
Typology of users: other
Total building costs Euros: 1.041.621,00 €
Building Cost = Total Bulding Cost / Gross Area: 965,89 €/ sq.m.
Floor area ratio = Gross Area / Plot Area: 3,75
Work started on date: Saturday, 2nd January 2010
Work completion date: Tuesday, 1st March 2011


Allotment rule: competition
Reduction cost percentage compared to the market value:
– assignment:  not indicated
– rent: 20 %

Description of the project: 


Fruit of the ideas competition held by Xestur born in 2006 the refurbishment of the old Hotel Comercio in Monforte for under 35 years housing lease.The original motto: de60 to60, and defined the project strategy: insert blocks where the facilities are concentrated to deliver the greatest possible space, define a system where 60 to 60, cabinets, toilets, kitchens… are inserted and dimensioned housing.

So from the start it seeks to liberate the stone perimeter easements, generating as much free space in contact with the front and looking for a counterpoint between the original stone wall and the new architecture of dry board.

To Restore, To Reuse, To Recover

Space was already, scale was already, time was already.We just had to put it back in value. All refurbishment is based on strategies that do not generate time and eliminate the inherited atmosphere. Somehow the new use, new materials, new colors have to restore the essence of what it was.

Refurbishment not as a rupture but as a below

One of the cornerstones of the design was the recovery of the magnificent original woodwork and its insertion in the housing and construction system.Recover these items seemed obvious and was key to preserve the essence of the original building.

Part of the original wooden structure was reused.Using a mixed wood-metal structural system spans were down and could reuse the existing lumber beams, complying with current structure and fire regulations.The exceptional staircase was also recovered, crowning it with a full skylight on the roof.

Optimization, flexibility and diversity

The project reflects on transitional housing models, architecture systems that allows you to create different spaces thinking of different kinds of users and families is proposed. We have generated apartments with 1, 2 and 3 bedroom.We initially projected 11 houses, although during the development phase of the project the property decided to reduce their number to 8.The quantitative problem, the power to reach a greater number of users is important here, exploring the limits of the minimum housing but generating quality space.

White architecture with touches of color and natural wood, where the bathrooms and bedrooms are converted into light boxes. Flexible architecture that favors life and meeting houses with diaphanous and continuous spaces that can be divided and not as short stays watertight.Light and space are the protagonists.