"El Refugio" - Tour of the House

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Entrance Hall

4.9m x 4.0m (16ft1in x 13ft1in) excluding the stairs and curved front area. The entrance doors are curved to follow through the masonry; there are bevelled tinted glass windows either side. By the doors are light switches for the outside front, outside side and the entrance hall, and also a double power point. Toward the back is a reinforced masonry screen with two wall lights operated by a switch behind. Also on this screen is a double power point and a 3-function communication point supporting telephone, radio/TV and Ethernet LAN.

To the right of the Entrance Hall are the following:

Half Bathroom

2.3m x 1.2m (7ft6in x 3ft11in) with recessed vapor-proof halogen ceiling light, WC and sink with tiling around, mirror and separate wall light over, two arched windows with obscured glass.


2.2m x 1.2m (7ft3in x 3ft11in) with recessed fluorescent ceiling light and two mirrored closets; two arched windows with obscured glass.

Under the stairs to the left is the

Room Under Stairs

Houses the electricity inlet and provides a good amount of storage space, with light. The control box contains 24 circuit breakers and there is a wiring service point for the wiring underneath.


The entrance hall viewed from the front doorway. Behind the screen are the kitchen and dining area (for privacy, these are hidden from anyone near the entrance door). The arched doorways to the left and right lead to the family room and main living room, respectively.


At the left of the entrance hall is the staircase, with a room underneath housing the circuit breaker panel and one of several boxes for servicing house wiring.

Doors and Half Bathroom

The curved front gives a pleasing shape to the entrance hall. The half bathroom is on the left of the photo.

Half Bathroom and Cloakroom

Beyond the half bathroom is a cloakroom with two mirrored closets. By the cloakroom door is a telephone for the intercom at the gate.

Entrance Door with Stairs

The staircase is located at the immediate left of the entrance doors for easy access to the upper floor.

Kitchen and Dining Area

6.3m x 4.7m (20ft8in x 15ft5in) excluding the built-in pantry to the side. The dining area features a built-in table with satin black finish and glass top with two halogen ceiling lights over. There is a decorative 3-bulb ceiling light toward the screen.

The kitchen features a large alcove with power point and water supply for the refrigerator, an extensive range of built-in units, and two built-in pantries. There are spaces for an oven/stove, microwave oven, and a dishwasher with plenty of power outlets. There is a large island unit with halogen lighting above, with a rectangular fluorescent light unit to the front. A large window with tinted mirror glass opens out onto the covered patio.


An overview of the kitchen and dining area. The dining table is made of reinforced concrete, with a glass top and finished in resin elsewhere. Both this and the island unit have spotlights over.

Kitchen Pantries

A view of the kitchen over the island unit. In the corner are two built-in pantries.

Kitchen Units

An overview of the kitchen units. The wide aisle provides plenty of room for opening dishwasher and floor unit doors.

From Kitchen to Entrance Hall

A view over the dining area and entrance hall from by the stove.

From Dining Area to Family Room

At the other side of the dining area from the living room is the family room. This might alternatively be used for formal dining.

From Dining Area to Living Room

A view over the dining table to the living room doors, which are of a similar style to the front doors, but are narrower and flat.

Split-level Living Room

8.1m x 5.4m (26ft7in x 17ft9in), lengthening to 9.2m (30ft2in) and widening to 6.4m (21ft1in) in the curved lower section.

On the upper level, there are two built in ceiling lights, four double power points and a 3-function communications point. There are six arched windows with tinted glass to the back and side.

From the upper level, two wide steps lead down to the lower level.

The lower level is illuminated by a 5-bulb ceiling light plus a rail of 4 halogen lights over the steps. There are four double power points and two 3-function communication points. Four windows with tinted mirror glass at the front face over the canal.

All lighting in this room operates via dimmer switches. Its shape and size give it excellent acoustic properties for a home entertainment system.

To Lower Section

The living room is split-level.

To Covered Patio

Outside down three steps lies the covered patio and the garden, with views over the hill Tamándaro.

Across Lower Section

The living room is intended for audio and video entertainment; it has excellent acoustics due largely to the boveda ceiling, split level and curved front wall.

Upper Section

All lighting operates via dimmer switches. In addition to the three hanging lights, there is a rail of four halogen spotlights for illumination of the sound-stage.

Sitting Room

4.8m x 3.3m (15ft9in x 10ft10in). Has two larged arched windows in tinted mirror glass to the south; a tinted mirror glass and aluminum door leads down to the garden via five steps with recessed light over, and a marbled column to the left. There is a decorative ceiling light, six double power points, and two communications points.

To Windows

The sitting room is a more intimate space, well separated from the living room. Two arched windows look out over the orchard part of the garden.

To Doors to Garden

Doors lead out to the garden via several steps.

Entrance Doors

This room could alternatively be used as a formal dining room, although these tend to be little used in practice.

Stairs to Upper Floor

By the left of the stairs the stepped arched windows provide excellent views and complement the high boveda ceilings.