Photography: Juan Solano; courtesy the architects
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Located at the summit of the city of Lima, Casa O is a home that encapsulates the panoramic urban cityscape into its interior, positioned as it is, on a hill...
Designed by Gomez de la torre & Guerra, the house contorts along the winding curve of the land. Its fluid form, born out of the terrain it is built on, enables multiple vantage points within its layout.
The design emerges as an eclectic synthesis of a modern interpretation of the historical styles of architecture that are endemic to the city of Lima. The swooping curve in the plan, for instance, alludes to the illustrious whiplash form that is characteristic of the art nouveau movement. Owing to the rising curve of the access road, the entrance forms the lowest point of the house. Embedded within the circular façade that encompasses the spaces within, the entrance of the house is a large opening, where the curve becomes steeper.
On the other hand, the bare façades, planar recessions, separation of public and private spaces, and isolated features as a means to articulate independent elements- subliminally and thematically- reflect the influence of neoclassical architecture. The ground floor, which harbours the public spaces, is thus a sequence of assorted elements, and fluctuating heights; which include steel and glass staircase, a concrete pergola, a curved colonnade, and a curtain wall in glass; not to forget, the glass bridges. Fronted by an opulent garden and terraced pool area, the colonnaded curtain wall encloses the living room. Following the circular profile of the contours, the terrace has openings along its edge, which inundates the second pool below- in the basement - with light.
Paradoxically, the top floor comprises the private spaces and is composed of a succession of dissimilar, albeit harmonious elements, which include, a transparent bridge, rectangular windows and staggered surfaces.
This syncopated composition of varying heights, and staggering planes, creates an appealing geometry, which breaks visual barriers across the three axes. In addition, the nearly fractal geometry of the plan creates virtually contiguous spaces, which are visually conformed, with glass and colonnaded surfaces.