In the municipality of Nocaima, not far from the Colombian capital of Bogotà, lives a rural community along a mountain path that is not easily accessible. Each of the 20 or so families living there has chosen to share the resources they cultivate with the rest of the community.
The rugged and wild terrain, together with the temperate climate of the area has made this hillside a place of incredible biodiversity, where farmers, coffee and sugar cane plantations, bamboo forests and a wide variety of animal species live in harmony.
In this context, Zuloark - an international architecture firm that has always promoted liquid and collaborative design methods - together with architect Santiago Pradilla, were asked to develop a prototype of a rural home with low environmental impact and an ecological and innovative design for a family in the community.
The team of architects chose to bring together a new community of work and coexistence, made up of specialised builders, young people from the rural community, students and the clients themselves, thus considering the entire design and construction process as a great hotbed for learning and training.
Casa Tejida is built on two levels, with a longitudinal layout of 4 by 16 metres perpendicular to the profile of the land. Taking advantage of the better orientation of the sun and avoiding consistent works, the house is supported on pilings, so common in the area.
“Building less and building better was the first exercise in responsibility that we have undertaken together with the clients” the designers say and this meant maximising the spaces in the house.
A small north-facing Japanese-style terrace where you take off your shoes serves as the entrance. In the interior, transitional spaces are completely eliminated and the whole house and its wooden floor become a generous, continuous and enveloping place to live.
But the most interesting aspect of the project lies in its “weaving”. The architects found the solution for the wooden structure infills on the road to Bogotà, when they met María, a local craftswoman who runs a business, weaving furniture from natural fibres. Together they worked on adapting her weaving techniques to the design of an architectural element that would act as a movable window to screen the structure of the house.
The introduction of this element makes Casa Tejida a safe shelter made of air and light that can always be organised differently, depending on cold or hot whether, the direction of the sun or the wind; a place where the inside and the outside mingle and contaminate each other.
Thus a group of small local companies have been created, giving life to an innovative model of building, working with prefabricated solutions where wood and metal details have been handcrafted like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to be assembled on site.
- Casa Tejida
- Prototype of a rural house
- Santiago Pradilla + Zuloark
- Project team:
- Santiago Pradilla, Zuloark, Palafito arquitectura Jóse López, Sergio Carranza (Verde) , Laura Vispe.
- Structural Engineer:
- Antonio Fernández Caro
- Cundinamarca, Colombia