16 May 2008

Chilean Sampler

Perhaps the thing most important to me about any house or building, whether modern or ancient, is how it interacts with its immediate environment. I grew up in a neat little modern house that I was so proud of for its integration into the landscape: its grey cypress wood exterior and single story low profile gave it the appearance of being just another outcrop of the ever-present rockledge Pound Ridge is notorious for. It just makes sense that a dwelling respects the features of the land it occupies as opposed to appearing uncomfortably perched as if its placement is only temporary.

I keep an eye open for interesting architecture out of South America, (probably in a subconscious effort to offset my usual Eurocentric-ness), and this morning I bumped into the terrific Chilean architectural photography site called BARQO – banco fotográfico de arquitectura chilena. Poking around through the Vivienda Unifamiliar sections, not only did I long to understand Spanish, but I began to think about the relationship between exceptional places the exceptional architecture that is created in those places. Some houses are designed to blend in either by color, by texture or by shape - or a combination of those qualities. Some, however, are successful because they celebrate the physical environment they exist in by being radically different. Here are some examples from Barqo (bARCo as it appears on the site), which I found through Judit Bellostes, which is also very worthy viewing. – GF

1. Casa Las Palmas · Sebastián Irarrázaval, Guillermo Acuña
FOTÓGRAFO Guy Wenborne

2. Chalet C-6 · dRN arquitectos

3. Casa Muelle · Jonas Retamal
FOTÓGRAFO Stefan Bartulin Cortese

4. Casa Dos Robles · Aguilo Pedraza

5. Asadera y Mirador · Carolina Contreras y Tomás Cortese
FOTÓGRAFO Alvaro Benitez

6. Casa Omnibus · Gubbins Arquitectos
FOTÓGRAFO Marcos Mendizabal / Pedro Gubbins

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