CJP House / ONA – Oficina Nómada de Arquitectura
Text description provided by the architects. Site. CJP project is located in a 500m² area in Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina. The immediate context is characterized by a low population density as the house is located on the periphery of the consolidated urban fabric of the city. The surrounding area is populated by small neighborhoods of single family homes with plots of vineyards and fruit trees. The small number of buildings and the low-rise architecture of the area allow for an imposing view of the Andes mountains.
Program y Typology. The request consisted of the design of a living unit -for two adults and two children- which developed into a L-shaped structure that surrounds a reinforced concrete core and a dry patio. Thus, the ground floor offers a spacious and illuminated north-facing area suitable for cooking, eating, and lounging; in contrast with a more secluded area designed for grooming and sleeping. The second floor offers a common space for all members of the house, whether they intend to study or work.
Tectonic. The choice of materials is based on two different premises according to the level. The first floor was built with reinforced concrete with an exposed finish and masonry walls that are partly uncovered to exhibit their crafted work. The nucleus of stairs, guest restroom and study were designed into a monolithic piece of reinforced concrete that contrive the remaining rooms of the house. Conversely, the choice of materials on the first floor follow a different logic, with a metallic structure covered in corrugated sheet. Thus, a contrast integration is achieved through the use of two highly different construction systems.
Lighting. Lighting is key in this project. One of the main premises of the project was the search for the perfect north-facing aspect for daytime spaces; i.e.: sitting room, dining room, kitchen, and gallery; placing the more private spaces facing west so that they receive the sunset lighting. In addition, a strategic skylight system allows for direct sunlight at different times of the day that can be appreciated while walking throughout the house, providing the perfect atmosphere from morning till evening.
Living The Process. Today`s issue presents a rare scenario within the context of architectural photographic reports, since the house is already occupied by its owners even though the project is not 100% completed. We found it interesting to share a project during its substantial completion phase in this kind of report since there is no clear timeline as to when the remaining details will be completed, but the architecture built so far allows for the fundamental essence of the project to be appreciated. This scenario tends to occur more frequently than it seems, but it is not usually present in architecture pictures that often contemplate tidy, perfectly finished, and, in most cases, empty buildings. With this in mind, we ask ourselves: ¿Isn´t shelter the ultimate goal of every piece of architecture even if it hasn`t been completed yet? Why have we gotten used to showing faultless, neat, and visually perfect architecture if reality says otherwise? Everyday life provides concept, proportion, scale, fundamental reason, and existence to every piece of architecture. Perhaps, the future brings the possibility to appreciate a larger number of imperfect, real-life works of architecture in these kinds of publications which show actual people happily making use of the projects we -as architects- are creating.