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Casa C3

Living in a Microcosm

Barclay & Crousse Architecture

Casa C3
By Caterina Testa -

Peru’s geography and climate are both uncompromising. The country is made up of three completely different regions that engender three completely different lifestyles. The interior is part of the Amazon Forest and inhabited by small indigenous communities. Next to it is the swathe of the Andes, with altitudes of up to 6,000 m, whose dry temperate climate has attracted most of the population down the centuries. The third climate zone, the desert coastal strip between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean displays another, singularly different climate: very humid, although virtually rainless, but with constant comfortable temperatures all year round. The undulating Martian landscape of the Peruvian coast north of Lima gives the impression of a land left unfinished by Nature. These were the characteristics that determined the program for the Casa C3 holiday home by Barclay & Crousse standing between desert and sea. For this French-Peruvian practice, the project was a means of gaining an in-depth understanding of this stretch of Peru and the natural forces at play. Their projects serve as laboratories to explore the intimate link between landscape, climate and architecture, and the qualities they conceal. Not so much a building placed in the landscape, Casa C3 is designed as an object that has pushed itself up to the surface from underground. It stands as a microcosm of its setting, a series of stacked layers like the desert rocks themselves, the most recent stratification in the history of man and his planet. The clients are a middle-aged couple who wanted a holiday home in which to invite family and friends. Accordingly, the residence can hold up to four families. Keen swimmers, the clients also demanded a large swimming pool. Clinging to a rocky slope tumbling down to the sea, the property comprises a constellation of buildings that create four different platforms, each a seemingly natural outcrop and part of the natural topography. The building nearest to...

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