La casa del desierto

A new house designed by OFIS Architects demonstrates new possibilities in glass specification through a collaboration with glass manufacturers, Guardian Glass.

Designed to withstand the Gorafe Desert (Province of Granada, Spain), which is considered one of the most adverse and extreme environments in Europe, La Casa del Desierto stands on a wooden structure and is fully glazed with high performance, energy-efficient glass.

The triple-glazed elements derive their performance from the combination of thin coatings that cover two of the glass panes.

The configuration of the triple IGU is as follows:

  • Outer pane: 10 mm Guardian SNX 60 HT – providing solar control and thermal insulation
  • Spacer 1: 18 mm, filled with 90 per cent Argon gas
  • Middle pane: 6 mm ClimaGuard Premium2 T – providing further thermal insulation
  • Spacer 2: 18 mm, filled with 90 per cent Argon gas
  • Inner pane: 5.5.4 Laminated glass – providing safety and security

This spectrally selective unit provides 52 per cent of light transmission, paired with a solar factor of 25 per cent, which means that it blocks 75 per cent of the sun’s energy, and nally a Ug-value of 0,5 W/m2K for a very good thermal insulation.

Covering just 20m2, the layout consists of three areas; a bedroom, a bathroom and a living room.

The house also features a water filtration system, an energy generation system and a set of photovoltaic panels providing further energy.

The project is the result of the combined efforts of an experienced team of architects and designers led by Spela Videcnik of OFIS Architects – together with Guardian Glass specialists, and engineers and energy consultants from AKT II and Transsolar.

La Casa del Desierto is symbolic of a joint vision to meet current and future challenges of architecture and construction, promoting environmentally friendly and energy efficient structures.

Lead architect Videcnik, who is also a specialist in design for challenging environments, said:

“How we can create a home with a comfortable atmosphere in harsh conditions such as a desert, is what we find most exciting. On the other hand, the landscape is beautiful, it is a perfect hideaway or escape from this type of city life, so we wanted to create a comfortable environment for someone to be alone (…) Hoping to work together to demonstrate that we can create a glass house in the desert that can provide a comfortable environment.”

Tomás Kovács, head of technical advice, Guardian Glass:

“This is a completely stand-alone house. It has no external sources of energy, electricity or gas. The goal of this project is to show that, with the right glass, the great indoors can be created anywhere. (…) It will be a very demanding test for the glass.”

The Gorafe Desert

Located in the northern part of the region of Guadix, in the province of Granada, Andalusia, the desert of Coloraos de Gorafe owes its name to the shades of its red sandstone and to the diversity of rock formations in the area shaped by the peculiarities of the erosion system and the lack of vegetation.

Thousands of years of erosion have created the “Badlands”, so called because of their extreme aridity and ravine-like appearance. Canyons, gullies, ravines, canals and other similar geological formations compose the general landscape of this desert, which is considered one of Europe’s most adverse environments.

The window glazing in a home helps save energy, improves the thermal and acoustic insulation of the inner spaces and can even increase the level of security against impact or attempted burglary.

Ultimately, when selected according to the specific needs of each case, glazing ensures that a building is a practical and comfortable home regardless of where it is located. Guardian Glass, in addition to having the right product portfolios, offers the tools to easily specify products, while providing advice and guidance along the way.