School of Architecture at Universidad de Talca_ Arquitecto : Gabriel Vergara
Llevar La Arquitectura Donde No Lo Hay
The caretaker´s house is a project that reinterprets and reuses the factors of the land in which it is situated: the Central Valley of the Maule Region in Chile, a territory in which 1/3 of the population lives in rural areas and in which two sharply distinct territorial scales touch and sometimes intertwine. On the one hand there are villages and rural hamlets, with their subsistence farming and local economies, and on the other hand, the highways that connect extensive farmland aimed at supplying international markets.
The caretaker’s house will be financed by a small agriculture company and will be located within a 30 hectare plot of land.
In the first place this project reuses in that it cannot surpass a cost of $12,000 US per 75 m2. Therefore, we propose constructing a waste brick dwelling, one of many “scraps” produced from the industrial activity in the area.
This material comes from refractory brick, which covers the inside of cement-making ovens. This covering has a shelf life of approximately one year, at which point it is replaced and becomes waste material. Around 60 tons of this waste brick were carried by dump trucks to the area, of which 26 were used in this project.
The use of this material technically determined the project’s implementation, having to respond to the structural thermal conditions.The structural conditions were solved by the use of a system in confined masonry, while the thermal conditions, by the construction of double walls, which consequently generated a significant thermal mass.
Secondly, this project reinterprets, due to the fact that the user does not correspond to a man who contemplates the landscape, but to someone who makes use of it. This issue is proposed by the following questions: What should the dwelling of a farm caretaker be like? What should a house of a man who works and constantly alters the environment and the landscape that surrounds him be?
Intuitively, such questions are to be tackled by the closest referent: the country house and the reinterpretation that emerges from the mixture of the country house with a second referent: the storehouse. Both rural archeotipes will shape the project as follows:
A heavy mass (formed by bricks, as a reference to the adobe walls) located over a 50 cm. socle gives place to the rooms distributed from a triple crujia extracted from the typical spatial dstribution of a country house. The mass formed by the brick walls is covered by metallic structure, as a simple storehouse of one slope, which is detached from the walls and extends to generate corridors and eaves.