© Gonzalo Caceres

Chontay House // Marina Vella Arquitecta

Chontay, Peru

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Text description provided by the architects.

Project manager: Marina VellaConstruction: Oswaldo CajañautaFacilities: Peter ArandaTechnical drawing: Carolina NeuhausLandscape: Vivero 4 estacionesPhoto Styling: Macarena BelaundeThe project is located in a 5,800m2 rural plot south-east of Lima, 40.5 km from the road that borders the Lurin River from Lima to Huarochiri. The road that leads to the site is surrounded by a beautiful landscape where stone, wood, clay and local flora stand out.

© Gonzalo Caceres

© Gonzalo Caceres

© Gonzalo Caceres

© Gonzalo Caceres

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.ProgramIt was a great opportunity to highlight conservation by using sustainable materials that blend unobtrusively with the landscape creating sensorial and visual bonds among the users, the landscape and architecture.

© Gonzalo Caceres

© Gonzalo Caceres

© Gonzalo Caceres

© Gonzalo Caceres

Choosing an exact location was challenging and it lead to a solution of two independent volumes articulated by a garden lined up with the existing trees and the valley. This allows the users to have constant connection with nature and outdoor activities.Main design ideas- Respect the environment and become part of it; the two volumes are elements in harmony with the environment, each can be surrounded and therefore loose the front-back effect.- Create a habitat in harmony with the surrounding tones of nature; all the natural resources available on the site have been used: stone, adobe, eucalyptus and cane as well as the traditional construction techniques.

© Gonzalo Caceres

© Gonzalo Caceres

© Gonzalo Caceres

© Gonzalo Caceres

The plants are used as design elements, thus integrating the volumes with the landscape and making them part of it. – In order to maximize the area for agricultural purposes and outdoor activities the program was solved in a minimum area. Functional organization- Parking in the upper area of the site.

© Gonzalo Caceres

© Gonzalo Caceres

© Gonzalo Caceres

© Gonzalo Caceres

Access to the house by a pedestrian pathway through a sown field. A lateral path is to be used for harvesting purposes. – The living room, dinning 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 to 3 bedrooms, an attic, 2 bathrooms and the terrace.

© Gonzalo Caceres

© Gonzalo Caceres

© Gonzalo Caceres

© Gonzalo Caceres

To ensure the bedroom’s good ventilation and lighting low windows are oriented towards the East and the “teatinas” (Peruvian roof windows used since colonial times) are oriented towards West. The balconied terrace is oriented towards the valley.- Outside activities: hammocks area, fire area, and a playground area, gazebo, and swimming pool are surrounded by green and an orchard.ConstructionA builder with local knowledge of traditional construction techniques was selected for this phase.

© Marina Vella Arquitecta

© Marina Vella Arquitecta

© Gonzalo Caceres

© Gonzalo Caceres

In order to rationalize investment resources and time limits it was decided to use a mix construction system; in first phase concrete columns, beams and slabs supported by an adjoining foundation. In second phase walls were built with local materials: stone, adobe and the cane.A large curved dry-stone interior and exterior wall gives shape to the high and low volumes on the East side.

© Gonzalo Caceres

© Gonzalo Caceres

© Gonzalo Caceres

© Gonzalo Caceres

The transversal walls were built with adobes were made in-situ and used to delimit the terrace. 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. LandscapeLarge stones found on site were selected and arranged in an ergonomic way during land movements.

© Marina Vella Arquitecta

© Marina Vella Arquitecta

© Marina Vella Arquitecta

© Marina Vella Arquitecta

For the coating of soil ornamental plants were selected on the basis of the least water need.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.
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© Marina Vella Arquitecta

© Marina Vella Arquitecta

© Marina Vella Arquitecta

© Marina Vella Arquitecta

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