Uniting wildness and artifice – Chontay House, Peru

This week we’ve decided to look at one of our favourite new buildings – Chontay House in Peru.

How do you create a home that is safe, functional and beautiful to boot, while working with the natural features of the landscape?
It’s a big ask, but Marina Vella has truly delivered the goods with the fabulous Chontay House.

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The biggest challenge faced by Vella was the location. The rugged topography was spectacular, but not conducive to the building of firm foundations! A two-part design was settled upon to accommodate the lie of the land.

The house also had to look the part, so for Chontay House Marina Vella opted to work with a local builder versed in traditional techniques, and a range of materials including local stone, eucalyptus cane, ‘Carrizo’ (reed grass), recycled wood and earth-toned adobe, to allow the structure to blend with its environment.

 

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Glazing cleverly completes the look, creating a tunnel of light through the house and reflecting the scenery back on to itself, creatively camouflaging the buildings.

Then, a stunning yet scary design detail provides the access to the rooftop terrace – this probably wouldn’t be approved by British Building Standards, but the narrow, handrail-free steps really look the part!

 

 

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All in all, Chontay House is an amazing example of good design and environmental sympathy. We love this place, and dream of having something similar, when we grow up!

Photography: Gonzalo Cáceres Dancuart

 

 

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