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Mi casa de la playa

Rispoli Guerrera

At home with the trees: in memory of Antonio Jiménez Torrecillas.


Gaetano Guerrera and Vera Rispoli direct "Mi casa de la playa" a short documentary on quite an outstanding project by the late Spanish architect, Antonio Jiménez Torrecillas, who passed away in 2015. Located in Rota, the stunning house is the home of Almudena Grandes, a Spanish writer, and poet Luis García Montero, who were long time friends with Torrecillas. This documentary is an act of love: "Mi casa de la playa" and the metro stations in Granada were the last projects Torrecillas ever completed. Guerrera and Rispoli, who attended the University of Florence, were interns at Torrecillas' studio in 2015. Torrecillas was assistant supervisor for their thesis project.

Guerrera and Rispoli wanted the project’s poetics to be the leading force of their tribute. In fact, the peculiar relationship with the building has with its surroundings is not only a product of Torrecillas’ attitude towards architecture, but also of the owners': both of them emphasized it in the interviews made by the Italian directors for the documentary. Almudena says she wrote a novel on the wind, Luis that it was this kind of meditation that bonded him with Torrecillas when they were younger. And if the house stands amidst a pinewood, a green sea covering the land - there is even more to it: what if, we are asked, if architects were not allowed to cut trees? "Mi casa de la playa" shows how you can build a home, living around with growing trees.

Antonio Jiménez Torrecillas’ work, says Guerrera and Rispoli, is a silent form of activism to get people to rethink the way we live and to incorporate nature into our daily lives and into our living spaces. In this case, for example, the branches of the trees become part of the house, they are embraced within the structure and guide its shape. A curious and bold experiment that was not easy to pull off, as technical architects, Miguel Ángel Puerto Llano and Alejandro García Martínez, both interviewed as they helped Torrecillas’ project to be completed, explain.

The documentary tells the house through photographs and models - and, most importantly, through the memories and the desires of the clients and of the people that worked on the project.
Trees, it’s clear, become the protagonists of everyday life, crossing the rooms in height, entering the halls and terraces, coexisting with the inhabitants. The men here find shelter, the birds among the leaves become the soundtrack of the house, merging exterior and interior, old and new, tradition (the Andalusian gardens, the courtyard) and innovation. Leaving us wanting for more - it would be amazing to have more videos of the interiors, to help us reconstruct the inner structure of the house - the video is part documentation, part a love letter to a lesser-known great Spanish architect.

(Story by Sara Marzullo, The Architecture Player)

Authors icon Credits

Architect: Antonio Jiménez Torrecillas
Mentioned project: House in Rota (2015)
Project location: Rota, Spain
Editing: Vittorio Bedogna
Photos: Antonio Luis Martinez Cano and Estudio Antonio Jimenez Torrecillas
Pre-execution: Lydia Muijen

Italy 2018
Duration: 16'48"