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Casa en Cocachacra

Ghezzi Novak

Santa Cruz de Cocachacra, Huarochiri, Peru

April 2022


Gustavo Ghezzi Novak (Architect), Arturo Ghezzi Novak (Architect)


Andrea Wong (Architect), Jorge Indacochea (Structural engineer), Antonio Cilloniz (Landscape architect)


Jorge Ossio


Renzo Rebagliati


To capitalize the climatic and scenic forces of the countryside, we thought the main volume as a single sloping roof that could house interior and exterior habitable spaces. In Barragan’s San Cristobal stables we found the scheme that helped us exercise this idea, where the elongated eaves become an outdoor veranda that allows contact with nature and daily interactions. It is not uncommon to see in nearby traditional houses covered exterior spaces attached to the facades where it seems that time doesn’t pass by. These porches not only provide shelter but also have a significant social value that we are interested in rescuing.

The family asked for a kitchen-garden approach that could be integrated to the conception of the proposal. Stone planters freely arrayed throughout the plot allow crops to be grown separately and seasonally for household use, creating internal paths between them that provide another take on the internal nature. To support this kitchen-garden, a compact 2-story utilitarian volume was designed with a kitchen, storage rooms for crops and gardening tools, a working area for crop manipulation and additional sleeping quarters on the upper level.

The construction work is made simple with common foreman knowledge, using materials such as stone, bricks and concrete. Lime finishes in walls allow them to breathe and provide a true white coloring. The long sloping roof is finished with a mantle of clay roof bricks cut in halves and thirds arranged in patterns that reference the textiles of Ani Albers.


A two-hour drive east from Lima takes us to Cocachacra, a small town next to the Andes mountains where this family project is located. We arrive through the Carretera Central, a national highway that goes deep into the center of Peru and is a geographical registry of the transversal section of the country, from the Pacific Ocean to the Amazon, cutting through the Andes range. It is in this context where the house exists, thus the coexistence with the natural world, the intensity of the mountains and the understanding of the climate are key considerations in the design process. Part of the experience of being in nature is allowing the other senses to be fulfilled – hearing the sounds of wildlife, smelling fresh air or enjoying the rain without shutting oneself in. With a kitchen-garden approach, this project is complemented by another take on nature, a domestic agriculture where seasonality becomes important for the household culinary organization.


The architecture of the house explores the veranda space and its possibilities. The connections with its own nature and with the surrounding landscape. The intimate weaving of interior and exterior spaces. The generosity of shelter and freedom. For us, a most pleasant part of the unpredictability of this space was the magnificent occupancy by the client. He took the idea of the veranda a step further and the result is exterior living thriving with action, furniture, decoration, dogs, food, interactions, life, possibilities. The client, a chef, shows that sustainability is the balanced and uncertain coexistence between architecture, his kitchen-garden and the natural world.

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