Studio: Felipe Alarcón Arquitecto
Project: Lautaro house
Location: Linares, Chile
Credit: Pablo Casals Aguirre
Buildings not only convey their physical characteristics, but also symbolic values attributable to experiences and memories, including what we imagine and what we know.
In the case of a house, the bond between the user and the building represents a relationship that gains in symbolic value with everyday use.
This small house reform explores its user’s connection with the built environment, the meaningful link between materials and its attachment to memories. Therefore, preserving a certain state of affairs would become a disguised way of keeping hopes already dashed by reality, to the detriment of any possibility of improvement. Through architecture, the intention is to give the house a new order, allowing memory and its daily presence to express in a subtle, less concrete way.
The project’s first step is clearance: the decision of establishing what remains and what is removed. This seeks to preserve the original structural matrix (double band) and, in turn, reusing certain materials that connect with preexistences as, for example, some wooden decorations or the old roof tiles as masonry for the façade. In addition, the slanting volume supported by the original structure together with a storage volume magnify the house’s interior void, providing fresh air and new light.
A long window at the top of the volume allows indirect southern light sky to slide through the curved ceiling formed by the structure’s inverted trusses, integrating a previously missing element: the sky.