Set on an unconventional corner lot in a residential area of Peru’s capital city of Lima, this house seeks to provide a spacious and open living environment without compromising on usability or privacy of those living within. Designed by the local firm of 2.8 x arquitectos, the house uses a number of very intelligent solutions to keep each room open and connected to nature even within the confines of a crowded suburban setting. The dwelling is constructed in two distinct wings, the largest of which contains various functional rooms on its bottom level and private spaces above. The smaller wing is separated from the main house by a bridge and walkway, and contains the home’s living room, dining room, and a study area. This smaller wing is shielded from the sun by the taller main portion of the house, and has glass walls all around giving panoramic views of the lawn. On top of it, an expansive deck is organized to provide an entertainment and living space with open views of the city around.
As with its exterior, the interior of the home has two different styles of layout and decor. The smaller, shielded glass wing utilizes a minimal open layout, with no doors whatsoever between each space. On the other hand, the main building’s rooms are arranged in a more traditional fashion, with hallways and doorways between them. The color palette in the dominant wing is also more varied and conventional than in the courtyard’s living spaces, which are subdued and dominated by stone tones.
Though the home is intended to be fairly closed off and private to preserve the activities of those living within, steps were also taking in its design to prevent it from appearing to be a “fortress” in the middle of an otherwise normal neighborhood. At strategic points that don’t betray privacy, elements of the courtyard and home are open to the view of passers-by, and in one corner pedestrians can interact with a pool of water which extends past the courtyard.
Once inside the property’s outer walls, a pleasant sun-filled yard is populated with various natural and artificial landscaping features, all centered around the semi-detached building which contains the residence’s public rooms. From beyond those walls, however, the courtyard and building are nearly invisible.
The reflecting pool at the yard’s edge serves a number of purposes, delineating the property while setting apart the front and rear portions of the lawn effectively. To travel between each portion of the yard, you must go inside the house, providing a barrier between the two areas.
The concrete wall along two of the lot’s edges is tall enough to obscure the view inward even from the top floor of houses across the street, but still at a height reasonable enough to let plenty of sunlight in throughout the day and to give the second level of the dwelling unobstructed views out.
Along the living area’s longest uninterrupted wall, a smooth walkway allows occupants to step outside and enjoy the reflecting pool up close.
The glass-encased lower level of the module containing the house’s public spaces is supported by vertical metal beams at each corner and along its two longer walls. At the inner edge, the building is connected to the rest of the house via a covered walkway with a bridge above it.
On top of the living room, dining room and study, parallel to the private rooms on the main building’s second floor, an open rooftop deck includes a compact pool, barbecue, and plenty of space in the middle for recreation and entertaining guests.
With access from inside as well as up a flight of stairs from the lawn below, the roof deck can be used both as an area for family members to relax or as a space for hosting parties in style without relying on a cramped indoor space.
At one end of the deck, a small sitting pool has been built between the concrete railings of the space, set within a wooden frame along its free edge and accented with the addition of a glass railing set on top of the concrete.
The architecture of the main house forms an angle around its subordinate building, protecting it from the harshest angles of sunlight. This side of the larger wing is lined with windows from each private room, giving view out over the courtyard and beyond.
Most of the roof deck is kept intentionally free from clutter, relying on furniture arrangements instead of architectural structure to define its purpose at any given time. With everything gone, the space can even be used simply as a natural tanning deck.
At the far side of this artificial outdoor recreation area, a built-in barbecue grill is centered between the walls, with a small garden plot behind it to give a touch of natural color to the concrete. The grill is custom-made to mimic the architecture of the wing below it, with clean contemporary lines.
On the lower level, many of the living room’s glass wall panels can be rotated outward about their center, allowing outdoor air to flow freely throughout and cool the space without the need for artificial air conditioning. Even within a crowded suburban residential landscape, the architects took great care to infuse natural serenity into the property.
The separation of the house’s different sections also allows each major room to have significantly more window space than it might in a more conventional floorplan. With so much exterior wall space in the design, the only rooms without significant glass covering are those built specifically for privacy.
Inside the glass public volume, the majority of the space is designated as a combination living and dining room, with an open floorplan. Once filled with furniture, the borders between each space would be defined by decor cues (such as furniture orientation and rug placement) instead of physical barriers.
One of two physical obstructions inside this building is its fireplace, situated underneath the barbecue grill and sharing its smokestack. On the other side of the level, a matching stone column sets off a study area.
In addition to allowing guests onto the upper deck, the side stairs also let occupants of the home move between the public rooms and their bedrooms without passing through spaces on the main wing’s first floor, such as the kitchen.
The main home has a significantly different atmosphere inside than its adjoining living spaces, with smaller, shorter windows and a more traditional layout.
The kitchen, on the bottom floor of the main wing, is spacious and contemporary, with its black and white color scheme set off by red accent lights and a grey outer wall.
In the center of the main house, an impressive metal and wood staircase winds up through three levels (including a basement) a half-floor at a time.
Contained within one extreme corner of the house, the master bathroom’s geometry is abnormally acute. However, the architects used that to their advantage here, creating a countertop which glides effortlessly over the edge of the tub.
2.8 x arquitectos