This rustic house on a mountain slope near Peru's capital accentuates the stunning beauty of the Andes mountain range and proves that the most beautiful living spaces are achieved by integrating carefully with nature. Lima-based architect, Marina Vella of Marina Vella Arquitectura, designed the Chontay House by blending it into the landscape and creating both a tactile and visual connection between the spectacular natural surroundings and man-made structures.
The house is located on a a 5,800-square meter plot and is surrounded by agricultural land. It was built using sustainable materials such as stone, wood and clay, and local traditional building techniques. Locally available natural resources such as stone, adobe, eucalyptus and cane were used extensively during the construction process. Eucalyptus was used to build the structure supporting the ‘Carrizo’ (reed grass) sunroof in the terrace, and recycled wood was used for the floors, doors, windows and shutters.
Local stone was used to build large curved dry-stone wall that gives shape to the two volumes and is earthquake resistant. To further strengthen the structure and protect the slope between the stone wall and the upper parts of the ground, the architect introduced vetiver, which has a deep root system that makes the plant very drought-tolerant and difficult to dislodge by strong wind and land erosion.
Photos by Gonzalo Cáceres Dancuart