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Casa Mintacá

Palafito Arquitectura

Guasca, Cundinamarca, Colombia

February 2023


Santiago Pradilla (Design director & construction manager), Juan Chacón Zuloark (Designer)


Jose López (construction manager), Laura Vispe Juan David Daz


Juana González


Santiago Robayo


The project seeks a design with a simple solution to adequately address many complex variables. Three detached boxes with thick walls capture heat for the night. The greenhouse serves as a central space where the two geometries blend, generating various ways of inhabiting the space. Although the house has levels, it is single-story to integrate into the context, honoring rural houses with their colors and forms, recognizing new spatial needs. Landscaping is crucial, with significant earthmoving operations to collect water, create different zones in the garden, and control views. The relationship with the landscape is essential, turning the house into a landscape operation where the garden literally enters the volumes of the house and there are always cross views in relation to the surroundings. Different climatic zones are established within the house for privacy, thanks to the greenhouse and the boxes. Despite being in a cold area where temperatures can drop to 0 degrees some nights, heating installation has not been necessary, and the fireplace is used sparingly. The bioclimatic design allows for the utilization of heat stored in the greenhouse. Simple geometries and local, straightforward materials make the space complex, rich, and versatile, fulfilling high climatic, usage, and spatial quality standards, despite being a medium-priced house.


The Casa Mintacá project is situated in Guasca, Cundinamarca, Colombia, within a natural setting surrounded by hills, emphasizing the landscape's prominence. The site is characterized by its relatively cold climate and isolated houses with large natural plots. This context informs the project's approach to space adaptation and its integration with the surrounding environment. The project's significance lies in its connection to the physical and natural aspects of its site, offering a blend of modern living with the tranquility of nature.


In its initial period of use, Casa Mintacá has exceeded expectations in various aspects. The house's bioclimatic design effectively manages temperature fluctuations without the need for heating, contributing to energy efficiency and user comfort. Additionally, the integration of the garden with the house enhances the residents' connection to nature, fostering a sense of well-being and belonging. The project's adaptability and versatility have allowed it to evolve with the changing needs of its inhabitants, adding value to their daily lives. Furthermore, Casa Mintacá serves as a model for sustainable living, inspiring both its users and the surrounding community to prioritize environmental stewardship in their own endeavors.

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