DP HOUSE IN CAPILLA DEL MONTE
CRISTIÁN NANZER + CAROLINA VITAS
CAPILLA DEL MONTE, Argentina
CRISTIÁN NANZER, CAROLINA VITAS
Edgar Morán, Agostina Endrizzi, Juan Pablo Albrecht, Julia Palandri
DIEGO JOSÉ PEINADO
The design of the house’s typology is conceived by grouping functionally indeterminate and size equivalent units that emulate the layout of the town. This arrangement confers flexibility and dynamism to the project and also fits with the client’s lifestyle changes over time.
We envisioned the building as a concrete and stone promontory born right from the hills: a stone-wall house with a fragmented disposition, based on the iteration of 5m x 5m boxes with height variations and sloped roofs according to local regulations. These boxes were strategically assembled forming gaps, voids, passages, corridors and patios which, in conjunction with the site's native tree species, define a series of intricately woven interior and exterior spaces that resemble the urban spaces of a typical mountain village. Each unit encloses the interior space letting the greater views in, while managing to give shelter against less favorable sun and wind orientations, providing with proper temperature conditions for daily life.
The typological concept of emulating the village allowed us to think over how landscapes are created on different levels and scales, from domestic to territorial. A house that replicates the urban fabric of where it belongs– an ancestral practice from which communities harmoniously establish connections with their environments.
The project is summarized in three interpretations regarding environmental aspects:
The house is located in Capilla del Monte, a town sited in the Punilla valley in Cordoba. This town belongs to a network of small-sized towns that span across the valley’s 70 kilometers, connected also with Cordoba City’s metropolitan area. The climate profile consists of warm summers and harsh winters in windy and semi-arid conditions. The house sits at the foot of the greatest hill from all over the valley, the mythical Uritorco mountain, whose presence holds sway over the project's general layouts, sun orientations and visuals.
Social and Cultural Environment
We designed our building-work scheme based on local construction techniques. The project was therefore adapted to suit the local workman skills. The result is a brutalist hybrid of bare concrete and cyclopean stone wall, which is gradually cased upward and filled with stones and concrete, leaving traces and indentations every time a row is completed. These variations and imperfections resemble stratified mineral layers that lend to the space a grotto-like atmosphere in consonance with the surrounding landscape.
Stones and rocks stand out as the dominant elements of this landscape, while the town itself is also dotted with stone constructions. In this vein, rocks and residual gravel in combination with concrete became the project’s construction materials and defined a specific construction method. On the whole, the mere passing of time will gradually lead the building to fuse into the craggy and stony geography of the valley.
The project fundamentals are grounded in a contemporary interpretation about the geographic and cultural environment, and ultimately represent a quest for the essential constitutive elements of this new piece of architecture. Designing the building-work scheme based on the local workman’s artisanal skills implied a permanent exchange of ideas with great feedback during the resolution of technical matters on-site, in which the client also took part as the house was being erected. This on-site collaborative working dynamics enriched
and verified the concepts behind the project by involving a variety of actors and, alongside with the building’s material qualities and its inherent construction methods, ended up creating a synergic relationship with the environment.
We believe that every piece of architecture carries along with itself the implicit vocation of becoming a ruin. This condition may be the ultimate form in which architecture enters into communion with nature by becoming a part of it. We took inspiration from this assumed destiny: The physical expressiveness of what remains bare and open-ended, prone to the inclemencies of the weather, the physical transformations undergone as time elapses, the different ways in which the building is taken over by the force of nature, and how its singularity is slowly dissolved back into the landscape.