Ilona | Grupo Culata Jovai

SAVE Ilona | Grupo Culata Jovai

Project Name: Ilona

Practice: Grupo Culata Jovái

Firm Location: Asuncion

Completion year: 2013

Project Location: Asuncion

Design Team: Miky González Merlo, Jessica Goldenberg, Sebastián Blanco, Emmerick Braun, Mariángeles González, Serfei Jermolieff

Photo Credits: Federico Cairoli

More Specs

Excerpt: Ilona is a residence refurbished by the architectural firm Grupo Culata Jovai. What was logical for us was to do what we think architecture is, especially in times of crisis—taking advantage of the resources available to solve most problems—dissociating the – project- from the -ego- to address fundamental and essential issues habitability.

Project Description

(“Text as submitted by the Architects”)

Twelve years after “escaping” the Spanish economic boom with a tight budget, a Spanish photographer living in Paraguay financed the purchase of a house in downtown Asunción, the renovations needed to turn the property into a hostel and the architect’s fees. A house built in 1920, with a traditional “chorizo” typology, which had undergone renovations wholly dissociated from the original building. They were bearing brick walls 0.30 m thick. Wooden Roof Structure entirely inhabited by kupi’i (termites in Guarani) + tiles and shingles. 

The “additions”: a structure covers the old terrace in front, and at the back, a second floor adds a bedroom. What was logical for us was to do what we think architecture is, especially in times of crisis—taking advantage of the resources available to solve most problems—dissociating the – project- from the -ego- to address fundamental and essential issues habitability. We decided to use a corrugated sheet metal roof with C profiles for the inevitable change of the top. We were building an Outside.

Human dwelling is a complex activity. We dwell according to our human-personal condition and in relationship to the other. A family home serves for resting purposes just as a hostel. Each individual owns their personal space and shares the community space; the difference lies in the degree of interpersonal relationship. Living and circulating, in private and in correlation with others; here, the spaces are sized according to the ratio of fluxes of such actions. We intervened in space for private circulation, corresponding to a single-family house, and expanded the intermediate living and common circulation space. A wall is a quarry material that has now become available.

The bricks recovered from the demolition make up the new boundary outside. It ceases to be a load-bearing wall, with a thickness of 0.15 m. Breaks give enough inertia to withstand a longitudinal slab 8 cm thick, lightened with rubble from the demolition. Over it, a continuous wall made of bricks in zigzag encloses the rooms. We assume the "additions" without dogmatic prejudices of the restoration.

For privacy and natural cross-ventilation, we built a filter wall on the façade with ceramic shingles from the demolition of the original roof. We reuse, conserve and transform all the original openings, floors and demolition woodwork for mezzanines. The project was delivered with a minimum level of finishes, only the essentials to live in a healthy and quality space.

Life in the house and the program itself will finish it. These correspond to a personal aesthetic of a client/friend/artist from this home/business/life trench that aims to tell a story from the image. A story of how today it is giving refuge to Spaniards who come to look for work in a country that provided them with the labour to build the m2 that partly generated the bubble from which they flee today. 

Drawings

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Read More: Architecture | Residential Architecture | Temperate Climate | Grupo Culata Jovái | Asunción | Paraguay
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