The commission was an office building project located in Curuguaty, 350 km from the capital, Asunción, in an area dedicated to agriculture and raising livestock. The dilemma is how to build in the middle of nowhere.
The processes are ordered according to five ideas, which reflect the intention of the project.
First, the territory had to be controlled in a subtle way. An imaginary line in the landscape lets us observe what was happening in the surroundings, while protecting us from other animals and insects – and protecting them as well. A platform was created to elevate us 1.5 meters off the ground.
Once control over the territory was achieved, shade needed to be generated. This is the first necessary condition in a climate where temperatures of 45 degrees Celsius are an everyday situation. The shade shelters the construction itself, directs the winds and collects water, providing shelter for the workers during the construction process, and later safeguarding the interactions of the users. Once the importance of shade was understood, there was a need to find a way to achieve it in a lightweight and economical manner. Wires were found to be a very efficient element. The catenary smiled down on us. The structure would function as a bending moment diagram. The IPN profiles at the ends would work only in compression and the traction ropes would provide a 45-meter span with the simplicity of a line in the air.
There weren’t many options for materials. The offices were built entirely of earth, fabricating each brick on site, with the use of a press. Only the materials that couldn’t be damaged on the way were transported to the site, such as iron, rope and cement. The rest was provided by the land.
Protection from the sun and providing the offices with privacy were two important needs. The landscape is understood in a different way from the inside, in proximity to the walls. From the horizon, the daily life within these transparent walls is lost in the shadows. This parasol was built of the same material as the walls, of earth, but this time without cement. This allowed us to erase it with water, leaving only the mortar lines, as would happen with the passage of time. Once more, the earth was returned to the ground. To life.
Taking advantage of the curve of the catenary, the rainwater is collected, allowing it to be reused. It is pumped to the highest point and then distributed, thus cooling the entire roof, in a constant circuit. It forms a microclimate generating coolness and humidity for humans and plants, which, over time, will end up covering the entire building.
This brief description, sincere and without much introduction is our mission statement and declaration of love for the world, written in stone and brick – written in earth.