Caja de Tierra is the office built for and designed by the studio Equipo de Arquitectura. Completed in 2018 in Asunción, Paraguay, this atmospheric space helps to set the tone of this young practice: environment, materials, and design fuse naturally within their projects.
© Leonardo Mendez
“The sun never knew how great it was until it hit the side of a building.”– Louis Kahn
Solving the basic equation of materializing desires with a limited budget, Equipo de Arquitectura started building their office. It began with the experimental process of using and transforming available and recovered materials, such as the soil, recycled glass, and formwork wood, to configure these materials between two existing trees: The Flame Tree, which is outside but framed, and The Guavirá Tree which is in the middle and inhabits the space.
The cement walls hold the weight of the slab, which rests on 20cm of the wall. Without any anchorage or mooring, they take advantage of the structural qualities of the material. The remaining ten centimeters remain outside, hiding the slab, delimiting the exterior space only through the walls. All of the doors and furniture are made from the phenolic plates that were used in the slab formwork. The library emerges from the walls so that the light continues its trajectory, suspending books and paintings–precious treasures–in the office. If light constructs time and gravity space, the atmosphere of the Caja de Tierra is built to the sound of Jazz, the smell of incense, and the taste of recently ground coffee.
DATE: 2018 / LOCATION: Asunción, Paraguay / AREA: 45 m2 (built) / PROGRAM: Office / STATUS: built / DESIGN: Equipo de Arquitectura (Horacio Cherniavsky, Viviana Pozzoli) / CONSTRUCTION: Nelson Pérez, Rodney, Casildo, Raúl y Diego (Construction of compacted earth), Javier Jimenez (Blacksmith), Marcial Careaga (Carpentry), Gerardo Pérez (Concrete), Lucila Garay (Landscape), Guillermo López (Electricity), Emilio Richer (structural engineering) / CONSULTANTS: Yago García-Enríque (Compacted Earth Advisor) / PHOTOS: Leonardo Mendez, Federico Cairoli, Lauro Rocha