AD20ALTAS6AD20ALTAS6

[UP85]

Casa Javis

Madrid
2024
Photo: Pablo Zamora / Text: Iñaki Laguardia

Javier Calvo and Javier Ambrossi’s new house: “We wanted to move into a house that looked like a holiday home, where it would always be summer”.

Directors, screenwriters, and producers Javier Calvo and Javier Ambrossi have a new house in Madrid: a fantasy that has come true thanks to the architecture of the Mesura studio and Viraje’s construction technique.

AD JAVIS ALTAS PORTADA 1 OK

May looms over Madrid, and the branches of a vast cork oak tree, a symbol of freedom and protection, welcome us from the garden.

Directors, screenwriters, and producers Javier Calvo and Javier Ambrossi open the doors of their new home and greet us with enthusiasm. It is a single-family home designed by architects Benjamin Iborra and Raúl Hinarejos. This creative tandem has made Los Javis’ dream come true in just three years: a tangram of courtyards and concrete walls where pillars and beams are conspicuous by their absence.

AD JAVIS ALTAS 4

We wanted to move into a house that felt like a holiday home, where it was always summer. A home that would make us feel that all our effort was worthwhile,” Ambrossi explains.

AD20ALTASPISCINAAD20ALTASPISCINA
LJ-4LJ-4

An irresistible setting for living and living together.

The little dogs Mary and Susi are the sentinels of a plot where nature blends with architecture in a perfect dance. The central garden, with a swimming pool and barbecue, is a natural light collector that gives charm and soul to the space. Ambienta’s landscaping creates an irresistible setting in which to live and live with the many guests who come every day.

AD JAVIS ALTAS PORTADA ext 4

“This house is very social. There are always people, there are always parties, there is always a script reading… We wanted a place that was not only for us but also for our family and our work. It’s also a creative space”, Calvo says.

AD JAVIS ALTAS 8AD JAVIS ALTAS 8

The house’s functionality follows the idea of creating a more public ground floor with day spaces

—living room, dining room, kitchen, study, and guest rooms—and a more private first floor with the main bedroom and bathroom, dressing room, and terrace. Not forgetting the basement, which, in the absence of a car collection that would require a considerable garage, houses a discotheque, a cinema room, and a small gymnasium. A spectacular skeleton of off-white concrete walls supports all of this.

AD20ALTAS17
AD JAVIS ALTAS 18AD JAVIS ALTAS 18
LJ-3LJ-3

Carefully chosen works of art and design classics.

The decoration bears the stamp of Minim, which has worked hand in hand with Los Javis and Mesura to select the pieces. And the truth is that the catalogue of design icons is infinite wherever we look: Bambole armchairs by Mario Bellini; lamps by Isamu Noguchi; Lounge Chairs and ottomans by Charles and Ray Eames for Vitra; an Ava table by Foster + Partners for Molteni&C; and several creations by Konstantin Grcic. The collection of works of art deserves special mention, with names as heterogeneous as Sara Regal, Albert Madaula, Barquero, Nacho Torra and Fabio McNamara.

AD20ALTAS10

“All these years, we have been delighted in our little flat in Malasaña, but it was time for a change that reflected our moment in life”.

Javi and I write a lot and often need to escape to Ibiza to do it in peace. We used to rent a little house and go there to shape La Mesías or Veneno. Writing is not only the mechanical act, it involves reading, thinking or spending days on end without any ideas coming to you. That’s why we needed a space where we could feel inspired and comfortable and take a walk in the garden to get unstuck. Our new house fulfils that purpose. We have a little garden where we can sit and be at ease, with the dogs happily running around”, says Ambrossi.

AD20ALTAS11
LJ-2LJ-2
AD20ALTAS14AD20ALTAS14

As we talk, the hosts guide us through the house as if we were watching a film:

the house is not revealed all at once but in sequences that reveal many diaphanous spaces filled with light and corners full of unexpected details. There are echoes of the Villa Arpel that Jacques Tati made iconic in the film Mon Oncle, but with a more practical and habitable character. “Making this house has been like shooting a film. When we do a project, we always like to bring people together, gather talent and take advantage of different visions to create something new. As usually happens when you have an idea and write a script, when we sat down for the first time and made the first drawing, the house came out almost as we see it”, explains Calvo about his relationship with the Mesura and Viraje studios.

AD JAVIS ALTAS 12

Honest architecture and defined detail.

Everything we see around us – 192 unique concrete pieces that look like sculptures and can weigh up to 20 tons – responds to the perfect match of Viraje and Mesura. “Everything starts from the reflection of making what we at Mesura call an honest architecture: the house’s skin shows the tectonics of its construction. Knowing the geometrical complexity of the floor plan and through a reasonable centreline, we decided to work with repeated slabs in the orthogonal zones and leave the triangulations as secondary courtyards. We have taken the industrialised system to another level in the intersections between the orthogonality and the curve using large prefabricated slabs defined to the millimetre” – Benjamin Iborra.

AD201

Viraje, through its Ubiko brand, has defined the details and the construction of the above technique.

“Industrialisation is a means to achieve good architecture, which is the end. We standardise processes, not parts. That is why the houses are unique. This system generates less waste – 63% less in this case – and shortens construction times; it is more precise, safer and more efficient,” says Raúl Hinarejos.

AD20ALTAS20ext2
AD20ALTAS13AD20ALTAS13
AD20ALTASAD20ALTAS

The perfect plan? Plan A.

There are never plans B, C or D. “We do it, and we’ll see” is the motto that governs a career and a life where there is always a plan A. They don’t depend on anyone’s approval. Success is to go home, fill your house with friends, have a “movie Thursday” with Brays Efe and have Susi reach for your hand with her wet truffle so you can caress her back.

AD20ALTAScama
AD20ALTAS15AD20ALTAS15
LJ-1LJ-1

[ Text by Iñaki Laguardia – AD Spain ]

Photography: Pablo Zamora / Styling: Ana Rojas / Styling assistants: Esther Pastor & Lucía Sobas. Photography assistants: Edu Orozco & Daniel Carretero.

Construction process

21-ubiko-mesura-JJ-web21-ubiko-mesura-JJ-web
07-ubiko-mesura-JJ-web07-ubiko-mesura-JJ-web
34-ubiko-mesura-JJ-web34-ubiko-mesura-JJ-web
38-ubiko-mesura-JJ-web38-ubiko-mesura-JJ-web
27-ubiko-mesura-JJ-web27-ubiko-mesura-JJ-web
19-Viraje-MDR-JJ-AV-WEB19-Viraje-MDR-JJ-AV-WEB
15-Viraje-MDR-JJ-AV-WEB15-Viraje-MDR-JJ-AV-WEB
04-Viraje-MDR-JJ-AV-WEB04-Viraje-MDR-JJ-AV-WEB
02-Viraje-MDR-JJ-AV-WEB02-Viraje-MDR-JJ-AV-WEB
001-Viraje-MDR-JJ-AV copia001-Viraje-MDR-JJ-AV copia
01-Viraje-MDR-JJ-AV-WEB01-Viraje-MDR-JJ-AV-WEB
18-ubiko-mesura-JJ-web18-ubiko-mesura-JJ-web
25-ubiko-mesura-JJ-web25-ubiko-mesura-JJ-web
18-Viraje-MDR-JJ-AV-WEB18-Viraje-MDR-JJ-AV-WEB
20-Viraje-MDR-JJ-AV-WEB20-Viraje-MDR-JJ-AV-WEB

[ Photography ] David Zarzoso