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2016 MCHAP

House in Barranco 1915-2015

Oscar Borasino

Lima, Peru

August 2015


Oscar Borasino


Alex Hudtwalcker Rey (Collaborator)


Sebastiaan Saverys Aurélie Beer


Renzo Rebagliati Beltroy


In 2010, the clients, a young couple with a creative vision and great energy, commissioned the remodeling and addittion for a new house that would meet their expectations of a contemporary living place. From the beginning of the design process, the major issue was to reconcile the difference between the program requirements of this modern lifestyle and the spatial characteristics of the original fabric. It was clear early in the process, that we should take advantage of the existing spatial qualities, and add the required spaces with a logic of material and space continuity. The second floor volume is added to the house following this same strategy. It´s built entirely in steel and wood, detached and open on three sides. This volume contains the social areas and master bedroom. From here, you have access to the surrounding terrace and to the views of the ocean and trees. From inside, this volume is perceived as part of a spatial sequence that connects all the levels. From outside it is more ambiguous, it may be understood as a big inhabited skylight. The final output, blends old and new with the same generative logic.


The house is located in Barranco, a historical district in Lima, which was once a summer village in the early nineteen hundreds. Its old summer houses are built in adobe and quincha with high wooden ceilings, skylights and ventilated front porches. Barranco has managed to maintain some of its original atmosphere and flavor and offers various cultural activities. The site of the house has an ocean front location, and seats on a flat land over a steep cliff. This is the topographic characteristic of Lima when land meets the ocean. This belvedere position, was not taken in advantage in the original construction and was a challenge to address. The surrounding area today is an eclectic mix of old fabric and new apartment buildings. Our original 1915 house was a remaining isolated piece, a reminder of old times.


The house is organized around a central patio, which brings the natural light inside and ensures the privacy of the interior world, but mainly embodies a center that gives sense and unity to the house. This interior space is connected and complemented with the expansive experience of the terrace and the "inhabited skylight" where the spatial relations connect the user with the surrounding landscape and neighbors. The project achieves, with a minimal formal impact on the urban fabric, a maximal transformation of the house´s essence.

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