Francisco González Grajera, El capricho de Cotrina/Cotrina's whimsy

picture licensed under 
Creative Commons (Gotardo González) 

This house in Los Santos de Maimona (Extramadura, Spain) is a marvel of form and decoration.

Life and works

Francisco González Grajera (b. 1935) in 1989, so when he was in his fifties, began constructing a (second) house on a plot of land in the outskirts of the community of Los Santos de Maimona. From his eighteenth he had worked as a mason in construction, so he was no stranger to building a house.

this picture, and the next ones, are 
screenprints from the Capricho de Cotrina video below

To please one of his daughters, he said he would attempt to make it a fairytale one.

In some drawings, which have been preserved, he sketched how the house would look like, its most important characteristic being its one and all round shapes.

Indeed, the structure, that currently is largely completed, has almost exclusively round shapes.

But there is a second element that makes the construction particular.

Grajera has abundantly decorated interior and exterior with brightly colored mosaic, mainly derived from broken plates.(pique assiette, trecadis)

In Spain this almost immediately implies associations with Gaudi. However, Grajera has said he had never heard of Gaudi, not at school, not later, when he was a bricklayer.

Having visited Barcelona in later years, Grajera very much liked Gaudi's creations, but as he said, Gaudi did not, as he himself, have to pile stones and to fit the decorative mosaics.

When he still had his job, Grajera would be active in constructing the house in the evenings, the weekends and in his free time, once retired he would be engaged full time..

Meanwhile the site has become well known, also because of articles in Spanish journals and programs on tv.

However, since Grajera does not qualify as an architect,  the authorities of the community raise formal questions, although they might see the site's cultural, artistic and touristic value.

As far as I understand, Grajera has plans to legate the Capricho de Cotrina to the community, to operate it as a cultural centre.

Documentation, more pictures

Francisco Gozález Grajera
El capricho de Cotrina
Los santos de maimona, ES
can be visited, see official website

view from the ex-101 highway

Capricho de Catrino weergeven op een grotere kaart

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