The house is located in a 5,800m2 rural plot south-east of Lima. The road that leads to the site submerges you into the natural landscape where stone, wood, clay and local flora take the center stage. The irregular site is 70 meters higher than the river area, becoming a great natural balcony of the mountains/valley and the lush vegetation surrounding it.
Choosing an exact location was challenging nevertheless, it led to a solution of two independent volumes articulated by a garden lined up with the existing trees and the valley. The constructions are elements that keep in harmony with the environment, one can walk around each individual element, therefore each volume loses the front-back effect. This distribution in two blocks allows the users to have constant connection with nature and outdoor activities: hammocks area, fire area, and a playground area, gazebo, and swimming pool are surrounded by greenery and an orchard.
Surrounded by agricultural fields, the program of the house was solved by using a minimum area, in order to maximize the area for agricultural purposes and outdoor activities. The living room, dining room and kitchen are located in a 68 m2 area sheltered by a tall volume, large window screens assure natural light and cross ventilation. The 67 m2 lower volume has a distribution hall leading to 3 bedrooms, an attic, 2 bathrooms and the terrace. This distribution leaves plenty of space for outside activities.
A builder with local knowledge of traditional techniques was selected for the construction phase. It was very important to use the natural resources available on site, as also a great opportunity to highlight conservation by using sustainable materials that blend unobtrusively with the landscape. Stone, adobe, eucalyptus and cane were amongst the materials used. A large curved dry-stone interior and exterior wall gives shape to the high and low volumes on the East side. The transversal walls were built with adobes which were made in-situ and used to delimit the terrace.
Large stones found on site were selected and arranged in an ergonomic way during land movements. For the coating of soil ornamental plants were selected on the basis of the least water need. These plants are used as design elements, thus integrating the volumes with the landscape and making them part of it. Eucalyptus wood is the structural element that supports the ‘Carrizo’ (reed grass) sunroof in the terrace. Recycled wood is used for the floors, doors, windows, and shutters.
Bougainvillea, bignonia and Jasmine are vines used to give color to the structure. To protect the slope between the stone wall on the west side and the upper parts of the ground, Vetiver was used, a plant with a very deep root that acts as a containing wall by controlling the erosion of the land.
Location: Santa Rosa de Chontay Antioquía district, Lima, Peru
Type: Residential – Houses
Ground area: 5800m2
Project area: 135m2 constructed + 25m2 terrace
Architects: Marina Vella Arquitectos
Project manager: Marina Vella
Construction: Oswaldo Cajañauta
Facilities: Peter Aranda
Technical drawing: Carolina Neuhaus
Landscape: Vivero 4 estaciones + Jesús Garay
Photographs: Gonzalo Cáceres Dancuart
Photo production: Macarena Belaunde