Edificio los Morochos, Municipio Libertador, Caracas . Alejandro Pietri . © Julio Cesar Mesa . 1956

'El edificio se compone de un volumen prismático de planta cuadrangular libre, separado del nivel del acceso a través de la estructura central de concreto armado, del cual emerge el volumen que contiene los apartamentos. Dicha estructura alberga el núcleo de circulación vertical que comunica las siete plantas del edificio. La planta baja se encuentra protegida por la amplia losa en volado hacia las cuatro fachadas cubriendo los puestos de estacionamiento de cada apartamento. Sus fachadas simétricas utilizan bloques calados de gran formato, para generar pequeñas ventanas con cerramientos giratorios de vidrio y metal dispuestos en forma de damero. La cortina de bloques calados oculta la presencia de las losas de los entrepisos, formando una fachada abstracta y uniforme, que remata en una cubierta escalonada a cuatro aguas que cubre el volumen. En las esquinas se ubican balcones volados con antepechos en concreto armado, único elemento de contacto con el exterior de cada apartamento, que le otorga escala a la edificación.'



Moore House, Orinda, California . Charles Moore . 1962

'Orinda House, also known as “Moore House” is located in a valley behind San Francisco,  was designed by architect Charles W. Moore for himself and built in 1962. In this project, Moore experimented with very simple means the possibility to recreate a project that could embody references to different moments of architectural history and that would allow an unconventional distribution and space articulation.

The small project is based on simple geometry and on the archetypal square plan to create a direct relationship with architectural archetypes such as the primitive hut or a Hindu temple.

A pyramidal roof with a flat sky window on top emerges from the outside walls and is supported by a combination of elements: a ring of beams laid on the exterior walls and some of the wooden columns inhabiting the interior space, while the whole house rests on a simple, concrete foundation. The corners of the building, materialized by sliding barn-like doors, are never touched by the outside walls. The doors can be opened to let the light to get in, underlining the continuity between inside and outside.

Eight columns, in groups of four, sustain two aediculae of different dimensions supporting two asymmetrical pyramidal roofs located within the main roof. These two sub-spaces inside the larger volume articulate the interior, and as they are painted white, they contrast with the rest of the surfaces. Between the two pavilions, a high bookcase structures the place for the beds. Only the toilet, some shelves and the cooking area are enclosed behind a wall, while all the rest of the space is freely distributed under the main roof.



Norrköping House . Sverre Fehn . 1963-64

'The Norrköping Villa was designed by Norwegian architect Sverre Fehn in 1963-64 as a model architecture for an ideal family of four. The 150 m2 house was designed for the exhibition NU 64 and it is a project which was not intended specifically for its building site in Norrköping, but conceived to be independent of any plot, an autonomous architecture responding only to its own internal rules.

The plan is cross-shaped and symmetrical with a central square core hosting services, bathrooms, toilets, kitchen and storage spaces and a second square, without any specific function, surrounding it. In the middle of the four edges of the second square are four “c-shaped” walls which can host the private rooms or be left open and empty in continuity with the central open area. The exterior c-shaped walls are made of bricks while all the corners are glazed with a massive wooden frame. The flat roof covering the central area is lifted to let the light enter the central core. This exercise in symmetry, geometrical control, plan organization based on the module of the square is said by the architect to have been inspired by the architectural principles Palladio developed in his villas.



Villa in Lesbos . Elia Zenghelis for OMA . 1970's


Naked House, Saitama, Japan . Shigeru Ban . 2000

'Having met the client only once, I was again considering what to do about the project of this house, when the client sent me a facsimile making precise requests. What he wanted was described as a house that “provides the least privacy so that the family members are not secluded from one another, a house that gives everyone the freedom to have individual activities in a shared atmosphere, in the middle of a unified family”. After reading his fax, I knew that I should take up this challenge.
The site of the house sits by a river and is surrounded by fields with greenhouses here and there.
The external walls made of two sheets of corrugated fiber-reinforced plastics and the inner walls made of a nylon fabric are both mounted on wooden stud frames and sit in parallel. In between are attached clear plastic bags, carefully stuffed with strings of foamed polyethylene for insulation purpose. Through these bags a soft diffused light fills in the interior of the house.
The house consists of one unique large space of two-story high in which four personal rooms on casters can be moved freely. To reduce weight and optimize mobility, these rooms are not very large and hold a minimum of belongings and fittings. They can be moved accordingly to the needs of their use. Placed against the walls of the house, in front of the heating or air-conditioning units, warm air or a cooling breeze can flow into it. They can also be put side by side and create a larger room, when their sliding doors are removed. They can be taken outside, on the terrace, for the full use of the space inside. They can also work as a supplementary floor for the children to play on top.
This house is, indeed, a result of my vision of enjoyable and flexible living, which evolved from the client’s own vision toward a living and a family life.



Cortijo Villegas, Fuente Vaqueros . © Antonio Jiménez Torrecillas . 2006

La forma del secadero revela el proceso de su construcción.
Sobre una zanja  excavada en la tierra se levanta un zuncho.
La estructura de fustes de chopo se cubre con tejas reutilizadas.
El cerramiento actúa de carcasa ventilada de la estructura.
Sobre unos ladrillos se apoyan unos prefabricados de hormigón reciclados.
Un cable de acero los asegura contra el vuelco.
Ya más arriba, se van disponiendo cortezas de piel de chopo,
el sobrante de los trabajos realizados en la serrería,
siguiendo la forma inclinada de la cubierta.
Al ser todas las tablillas de la misma longitud,
el triangulo restante inferior se completa con una disposición horizontal.'

Antonio Jiménez Torrecillas
El viaje de vuelta. El encuentro de la contemporaneidad a través de lo vernáculo


San Giorgio Courtyard, 'Viva Churchill' . © Vittorio Pandolfi . 1950s

'La versione in ektachrome di un cortile sangiorgese negli anni '50, notare la scritta sulla parete di fondo, le truppe di occupazione erano andate via da pochi anni lasciando tracce.'

Vittorio Pandolfi