Rural Guesthouse in Spain Revives the Town's Architectural Heritage

Surrounded by gently undulating vineyards, the small Spanish town of Villalba de los Barros is characterised by whitewashed houses coalescing below an imposing ancient castle. Right in the centre of this scenic setting, on the town’s main square, one of the area’s most interesting houses has been transformed by Madrid-based architectural practice Lucas y Hernández-Gil into a unique rural guesthouse that embraces the building’s architectural heritage while offering guests a taste of contemporary hospitality. Named “La Hermandad de Villalba”, or the Brotherhood of Villalba, the guesthouse occupies an 18th century, two-storey building that stands out for its ornate façade which has been beautifully restored. On the ground floor, where the building’s original layout has been retained, the communal areas of the guesthouse are arranged in discrete rooms: a hallway, a sparse living area, a large dining room and a kitchen as well as a walled patio at the back. The architect’s only architectural intervention was the introduction of new openings onto the backyard and between the rooms. The openings introduce more daylight into the interior but also frame views of the elegantly transformed courtyard which now features a small swimming pool that guests can enjoy during hot summer days.