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Huayoccari House

Color, Matter and Essential Spaces

Barclay & Crousse Architecture

Huayoccari House
By Francesco Pagliari -

A place of stirring sensations and breathtaking views, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, running along the Urubamba river in the Cordillera Oriental of the Peruvian Andes is enclosed by majestic mountains. This is the extraordinary setting, sacred to the Incas, of the holiday home designed by Sandra Barclay and Jean-Pierre Crousse, Peruvian architects of international experience and standing, who after 12 years working in Paris moved back to Lima in 2006. Completed in December 2018, the house is the first of the two similar, connected yet independent, houses making up the original project.

Built at an altitude of 2,950 m, the Huayoccari project takes its cue from the landscape, combining the technological possibilities available to contemporary architecture and time-honored craft skills. Given its setting, the architecture had a challenging brief: to measure up to, yet not jar with its awe-inspiring landscape, while being an example of quality, forward-thinking architecture. A series of terraces culminating in the horizontal platform on which the building rests solves any issues arising with building on a slope. In a context of soaring mountains laden with significance and symbolism, the plan is of the simplest, the geometries exuding an essential poetic, echoing the sense of immutable time imparted by the almost intimidating landscape. Dry stone walls similar to all those around mark out the perimeter of the plot and form retaining walls to the terraces down the south-facing slope, while paved paths lead up to the house. In the approach to the house, the visitor recognizes the features that echo the surroundings: the steeply sloped roof, local red stone, and shapes and volumes that create areas of light and shade echoing and giving views of the rugged mountains around.

The structural frame is in reinforced concrete, this being a seismic area. The architecture taps...

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