Project: House in Capilla del Monte
Architects: Marchisio Nanzer
Location: Punilla Department, Argentina
Photographs by: Sosa Pinilla
House in Capilla del Monte by Marchisio Nanzer
Marchisio Nanzer designed this stunning single-story dwelling located at the foot of the Uritorco Hill in Argentina. The House in Capilla del Monte is a contemporary residence with endless views of the lush landscapes that stretch out in front of it.
At the foot of Uritorco Hill, this stone and concrete house rises as a device through which to contemplate the changing spectacle of the mountain.
The theme of the project is perhaps return, the return of my parents to the village of their childhood, a non-circular return to memories and ghosts, although they are sometimes inevitable, but open to the search of the origin and identity as a platform to found the future and drift, to meet other views, of lost roads not travelled.
Deleuze and Guattari state: “sometimes it happens that old age grants, not an eternal youth but a sovereign freedom, a pure necessity where one enjoys a moment of grace between life and death, and in which all parts of the machine fit to send a message to the future that spans the ages.”
The project was drawn and blurred many times until reaching a simple idea:
the gravity of matter is excavated to promote a space for this event, the precise scenario for the moment of grace. The functional distribution accompanies this concept, leaving the necessary limits for the development of domestic activities, the rest of the spaces merge into one. Thus, the house becomes a perforated wall to look at the Uritorco and its surrounding landscape, a wall that serves for contemplation, which arises as a failure of artificial nature on the crest of a hill, and like all artifice does not hide its clumsy and imperfect gesture against another nature: that of infinite movements and cyclic rituals.
Spelling the walls
All walls are somehow incomplete texts and are continuously rewritten by the random marks and signs that the weather prints on them, and which the rotation of light decodes.
In Cordoba there are many walls as this, there is the text on the stone which becomes the wall of the Society of Jesus that overlooks Caseros street, disturbing when you it gets sun from the west, with that poster in a doorway that says: “gate of heaven”. Or that other one on San Francisco church on Bs. As. street, which looks like a Tapies mural, stained with a black patina of longstanding moisture, always changing. Perhaps having these images in mind when developing the project, is the reason why the chosen materials are exposed naturally, so that the harsh mountain climate can give them their final finish.
We searched for two types of stone, one gray from a riverbed nearby, for the main prism of the house, which was built with formwork made of horizontal boards and filled with concrete, leaving all signs of the process in sight, the wood tracks, the stone, the red oxide lines marking the levels of the different casts. We like to think that somehow the walls of the house make up a de-territorialization of the riverbed, a vertical river, where the concrete is expressed as a static liquid. In contrast to a wall of red stone from a quarry in the area, which defines the domestic boundary from the outdoor areas, which never touches the house as a ruin. That was all, the rest was reading Romilio Ribero, perhaps one of the best poets who from Córdoba, owner of the gift of interpreting the mysteries of the rough mountain landscape. You could say it was a project that was strongly tempted to exist.