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Dublin: 8°C Thursday 24 September 2020
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Prefabricated concrete gets a new look in Puerto Rico

Check out this tropical concrete paradise.

THE WORDS ‘PREFABRICATED concrete’ might just send a shiver down your spine if you grew up in 1960s Ireland.

From hospitals to schools to the US consulate, Ireland’s love affair with prefab was long and often unjustified.

But here are some folks in Puerto Rico – showing us how prefab should  be done.

casa-delpin-exterior-back-portrait Source: Dwell

Architect Nataniel Fuster rebuilt this house in Puerto Rico to take advantage both of the light and its play on the property throughout the day and also the occasional rain that falls in torrents during tropical showers.

Source: Fuster Architects

Originally a labyrinthian house built in the 1940s with little regard for its tropical setting and Puerto Rican heritage, there was plenty of yard-space but the interiors were dark and uninviting.

casa-delpin-window Source: Dwell

The owners wanted to reflect the Puerto Rican architectural heritage as well as re-design the interior space with more light and continuity throughout.

casa-delpin-dining-room Source: Dwell

Intrinsic to the new layout was moving the kitchen to the noisier part of the house at the front and rearranging the living spaces towards the back. There are no doors or screens throughout the ground floor, allowing the air to circulate freely and removing the need for air-conditioning, quite a feat in this tropical climate.

The are three skylights cast into the concrete ceiling panels – two facing east and one west, so that both the morning sun and afternoon light are captured throughout the day.

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casa-delpin-living-room

The pièce de résistance has got to be the eleven pre-fabricated concrete ceiling panels, which have been perforated to allow light to filter through them and create shimmering patterns throughout the property and over the pool during the day.

casa-delpin-pool-and-dining-room Source: Dwell

It certainly wasn’t a case of ‘out with the old’ as the original geometric patterned floor tiles were maintained throughout.

casa-delpin-detail-floor-tiles Source: Dwell

Read: You want to extend but you don’t have planning? No problem…

Also: Designing to suit your budget – renovations that are tailored for more than the space

About the author:

Edel Corrigan

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