Description by Solis Colomer Arquitectos:
Located in a privileged area surrounded by forests but still close to Guatemala city, the Casa Chinkara presents itself as a dual residence exploring the contrast between the natural and the man made; between the primitive and the contemporary.
The house was imagined as a rock embedded in the landscape, an ethereal element that follows the order of the contour lines of the terrain. Inside it houses an art gallery, an intimate space for contemplation, a container of experiences materialized in the various works of art that conform it. This rocky volume has been sculpted in such a way that it allows for light to come in through a skylight and for the different spaces in the inside to flow right out into the natural landscape.
This stone volume acts as the heart of the building, different rooms adhere, penetrate or are superimposed around it each one contained inside different white volumes wrapped in ACM, an artificial material, that as it counterpoised to the rock symbolizes the intervention of man in the natural landscape of the project. As a result, the residence reads as a harmonious composition between terrain, rock and man.
Even though the house could be read as a massive composition of volumes, from the inside each one of the room maintains a residential scale, intimate and human. The warmth of the wooden floors, the unpolished stone, the height of the spaces and the ornamentation of these reinforces the idea of a good life, constantly inviting the residents to enjoy a sense of contemplation and intimacy.
The experience of the house towards the landscape creates a contrast to this introverted notion of the project. Except for the art gallery each one of the rooms in the house is contained in a defined volume that opens towards the exterior integrating the richness of the natural life with the experiences contained inside the house.
Huge glass windows with bright red frames are embedded into the volumes that make up the building denoting the intention of framing the landscape from the inside.
From the outside the house reads as a group of window displays that expose the interior spaces that compose it along with the day to day experiences of it’s inhabitants; from the inside all of the activities of the residents are adorned by an exterior natural background conformed by different species of trees, animals and sounds.
In conclusion Casa Chinkara is more than a residence, it is an intermediary between the natural and the artificial; between the intimate and the external; between the massive and impressive and the residential and familiar.
Design Office: Solis Colomer Arquitectos
Location: Guatemala City, Guatemala
Photographs: Marko Bradich
Description by Raffo Arquitetura:
The main concept of the architectural project was to house a tree in a building that integrates environmental energies and creates a clear dialog between the natural elements and the building.
The building develops in the surrounds of a jabuticaba tree that has an emotional value to the owners. The three belonged to the house where the owner lived her childhood, and the architectural project became a childhood dream realization; to create a conceptual house in the surroundings of that beloved tree.
The primary conceptual goal of the project was to house the natural illumination and ventilation throughout the building, minimizing the environmental impact of the construction and maximizing its interaction with the surroundings energies. A water drain system was projected to use the height of the house to harvest rainwater on the roof and distribute it throughout the house by gravity.
The spaces composition surrounding the Jabuticabeira allows for morning sunlight to reach the social area and part of the intimate area of the house. Large openings to the east permit mild sunlight throughout the day, while allowing ample access of the dominant breeze that comes from the east in this geographic location. On the northern façade, a linear garden was created to follow in lines with the superior floor rooms. During the day, this garden works as a reflector of diffuse light into these rooms, while, at night, its internal illumination is projected to the outside of the house, acquiring the irregular shapes of the large wall openings.
On the dormitories facing north, a horizontal brise controls the sunlight access into the rooms, providing them with a more private environment.
The internal flow is well defined and separates the intimate area from the social and service areas. The superposed volumes also emphasize these marked differences in forms in the facade.
Design Office: Raffo Arquitetura
Location: Londrina, Brazil
Photographs: Fabio Pitrez