House facing the Yuma River, Arizona, United States

Written by Administrator
Friday, 17 October 2014 11:17

A former professor of astronomy was indeed an unusual client for us, and when he requested us to begin the process of designing his future home, we were delighted to begin an in-depth analysis to be able to provide for a very specific program with quite unique demands.

We immediately observed that the decision of where to place the house would require a thorough search for a hospitable environment, but even more than that, a place that could be a universe in itself.

The site was chosen not only because it fit our requirements very well, but also because of its beauty; it seemed to have a latent magic. The small plot of land is free of vegetation except in the low shores, which are lapped by the cool waters of the river in Yuma, Arizona.

It is in an area where the summer temperature is torrid, the climate in general is very dry, and there is a hot and dry wind. We are to imagine a wildlife habitat, far removed from the human touch.

The difficulty of organizing the complex brief offered us the opportunity to explore within the realm of geometry, and this actually assisted in formalizing the functional problems.

The five pavilions, purposefully asymmetric, are five communicating volumes that determine the boundaries of the interior living spaces, and work together to act as a barrier to protect the inhabitants from the wilderness outside.

There are four principal elements: wall, column, girder, and roof. These four elements have been ordered expressly so that their interchange will provide protection from the harsh environment outside and shelter from the adverse atmospheric conditions.

Each pavilion reveals the four columns that sustain it. The final form of the four-column structure is reminiscent of ancient times, and its image incites the perception of a symbolic space.

The robust design allows the freedom to operate without obstacles from the detailed individual elements, and permits these elements to be combined in many different ways.

In a way, the design of the home expresses a desire to merge with the landscape, resting inside the folds of the earth. The walls are made of rough cut sheet rock, the floors are rugged granite, and the skeleton is built from unvarnished heavy high density wood; also, the fireplaces of early colonial houses inspire the huge fireplaces of this house.

The house has a direct connection with the owner; the design is a result of the desires of an independent man whose engagement with nature is profound.

Authors of the draft

Alfonso Ruete                  architect editor.

Pedro Arroyo                 arq. collaborator.

Diego Herguera       student collaborator.

Study of architecture    :: a.ruete arquitectura

Last Updated ( Monday, 16 January 2017 16:39 )