Tropical Brutalism in Paraguay

In a combination of dynamic spaces, exposed concrete and brick, and close dialogue with vegetation, the house designed by Equipo de Arquitectura prepares to gracefully register the signs of time.

Bare and essential volumes, straightforward and durable materials, a passionate dialogue with nature: this house by Equipo de Arquitectura in Asunción, Paraguay, effectively interprets the principles of Tropical Brutalism, bringing them up to date with a contemporary sensitivity for environmental well-being.

The building is located in the centre of a traditional 12 metre x 30 metre plot of the capital. The simple and functional rectangular layout, distributed on two levels, features on the ground floor a sequence of communal spaces and, on the upper floor, the private rooms (the three bedrooms, the bathrooms, the study and the gym).

Equipo de Arquitectura, ME House, Asunción, Paraguay 2022

Following in the footsteps of Paulo Mendes da Rocha and his enthusiastic relationship with vegetation, the architectural space interfaces incessantly with nature: in the south-west garden, overlooked by the main living areas, in the full-height central courtyard and in the courtyard at the north-eastern end, bringing natural light inside and guaranteeing cooling by cross-ventilation flows. On the street front, the brick screen wall shields the light and protects the privacy of the dwelling, acting as a support for the climbing plants that in time will become an integral part of the architecture.

Equipo de Arquitectura, ME House, Asunción, Paraguay 2022

On the upper floor, the air chamber between the wooden ceiling and the thermo-acoustic sheet metal roof mitigates the incidence of solar radiation in the house.

In the interior, the perimetral load-bearing structure frees the space from all visual interruptions. A symphony of sincere and timeless materials (from the semi-compressed brick of the walls, to the cement of the floors and ceilings, to the wood of furnishings and finishes) give the rooms a rough, robust aura that sets to gracefully register the patina of time.

Project team:
Viviana Pozzoli, Horacio Cherniavsky, Gabriela Ocampos, Patricio Duarte, Gabriela Roura, Juan Corvalán
Landscape architecture:
El Arenero

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