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2004 San Juan, Argentina

This project unites innovative architecture with local building traditions. A residence adjacent to a vineyard, the building is a framed adobe structure comprised of a rectangular form perforated with several cylindrical patios. On the interior of the house, the patios create rounded walls wherein the main central space is shaped by proximity to surface, rather than being contained by corners. Each with its own tree, the patios create outdoor rooms that trace, in shadow, the cyclical path of the sun.

Project Team

Pablo Castro, Jennifer Lee, Kaon Ko, Philip Berkowitsch, Yooseung Moon, and Angel Steger (finalized drawings, designed and built interactive model and site model)

Project Highlights

2004 Honorable Mention in Shinjuku Competition.
2007 Published in Obra Architects Monograph, Shanghai, China.

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This interactive model was designed to illustrate several key properties of the project. Arte Povera: new architecture does not require new technologies. Made of plaster, wood, and cement, the model was built in simulation of local Argentine building practices of adobe, reed, concrete and wood construction. The roof can be removed to reveal the interior floor plan. One section can be removed for a cutaway view into the interior.
Fruit trees grow through circular courtyards, providing respite from intense sunlight. To the right, a large porch connects the interior with the surrounding landscape.
Plan view of site model. The house has been slightly offset in relation to water and surrounding orchard and vineyards. The red terra-cotta of the house floor can be seen in the interior courtyards.
View of interactive model with roof removed. Towards the upper-left side of the image, the patio area supports a large grill for barbeque. Red-pigmented floor remains consistent between interior and exterior. Convex curves shape the living room, bedrooms, kitchen and bathrooms.
An alternate detail view of interactive model interior.
Detail view of interactive model interior. Central living room is enclosed by convex curves of the courtyard spaces. The fireplace at center provides a focal point in the interior, which also functions as a support column. The roof is comprised of birch beams, over which are laid reeds and adobe.
Detail of service entry way to the kitchen. The curved courtyards move in and out of the main body of the house.
Each shaded by a central tree, the courtyards become an intimate respite from the intense sunlight. Likewise, the courtyards provide private escapes from the interior of the house by creating exterior rooms.
An eye-level view of courtyard space. One one side, an extension of the curved wall becomes a built-in courtyard bench.
Throughout the day, residents experience a continually varying pattern of light, shadow and shade.
Labeled plan. Dark black lineweight designates load-bearing members. The circular compass points to orientation relative to north. The scale is set to show size in meters.
Elevation drawings.
Cross-sectional drawings. Note the layering of volumes and interior/exterior spaces.