After winning several competitions, brothers and partners Marcelo and Martín Gualano founded their award-winning office at the turn of the century in Montevideo, Uruguay. Both studio instructors at the Universidad de la República, they have been published internationally and have participated in the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale. Gualano + Gualano does not take scale as an architectural given. The different scales of their architecture are defined by the surrounding site rather than the program. A very particular approach of working with and around the territory can be seen in the following works: Parador Penitente, House Shandy, Calera del Rey House, and Hotel Hampton by Hilton.
Essential landscape: essential architecture
The material as it is, architecture in nature, artifice in nature
The project does not pretend to impose nor mimic, it indicates an abstract, honest architecture of unfinished materials, of concrete, made stone.
It intervenes in the landscape, respects it, and becomes matter just like the site.
Two distinct pieces articulate in the landscape: the pavilion that hangs from the rock and emerges towards the cliff, crouched, at the level of the floor, and the campsite entrance, which receives the visitor arriving by car.
DATE: 2004 / LOCATION: Salto del Penitente, Lavalleja, Uruguay / TEAM: Christian Bernhardt, Lorena Díaz, Jorge Epifanio, Ignacio de Souza / PHOTOS: Ramiro Rodríguez Barilari / TEXT: Gualano + Gualano arquitectos
To generate access,
to generate a new image.
To amplify an interior in relation to its exterior.
The ground floor opens up to the street and generates a new horizontal, wide, long opening.
The building now opens up at the pedestrian level.
At the top, a new sign crowns the building and aligns its silhouette to neighboring heights
Two actions: to open up and to crown.
DATE: 2012 / LOCATION: Montevideo, Uruguay / TEAM: Nicolás Percovich, Alberto Catañy / PHOTOS: Elías Martínez / TEXT: Gualano + Gualano arquitectos
Calera del Rey House
Mountains, distant horizons, rustic and soft territory
20 hectares of land
The enclave, a set of rocks and one tree (Scotia Buxofolia) that position the piece
A patio to the South, protected, containing the tree
To the north the horizon, the views and the slope going down to the stream crossing the site
A long vaulted roof defines the project
6 meters wide x 24 meters long
The vault rests on two local-stone walls, and by a light metal tubular structure
Below, three pieces of stone
the largest: the bedrooms, the bathrooms, and the stove
the others: the kitchen counter and the barbecue fires sector
A gallery, a long space, indoor
sheltered from the south and open to the North.
DATE: 2015 / LOCATION: Calera del Rey, Maldonado, Uruguay / PROGRAM: House / TEAM: Ignacio de Souza, Joaquín Mascheroni, Benito Pereira / PHOTOS: Federico Cairoli / TEXT: Gualano + Gualano arquitectos
Hotel Hampton by Hilton
At the entrance to Montevideo, the hotel is an urban piece at the scale of the landscape that understands its role as an entrance to both the East and the airport.
It stands out as an abstract shape at the bottom edge of Roosevelt Park through a white mist of glass parasols that dialogs with the distance, speed, and monumentality of De las Américas avenue.
Its geometric abstraction contrasts with the natural background of the park; it is a piece at the scale of the place.
Instead of seeing windows, the visitor sees patterns, textures, which converge with the scale of the site. A broad comprehension of site: route, speed, lake, forest, entrance to Montevideo. The glazed, reflective prism encloses the rooms and rests on a more robust, more rustic volume, which is linked to the ground. The texture of rough, corten steel generates a more frictional, massive bond with the ground.
The glass façade bends and turns into the entrance ceiling altering the scale becoming large, wide, long, low, perforated. That compresses the hotel passenger to the entrance, which induces a change of scale, more horizontal and tight, linear, like the lake.
The building is made up of two pieces: the bottom, which speaks of the place, organizes, and articulates main accesses and services, it contains the great hall that opens entirely to the lake; the top, which dialogs with distant scales, a translucent white piece towards the avenue and transparent towards the lake. A vertical piece, an accent, vibrant during the day and bright at night.
DATE: 2017 / LOCATION: Ciudad de la Costa, Uruguay / STATUS: Built / TEAM: Nicolás Percovich, Stella Berriel, Joaquin Mascheroni, Manuel Machado, Nicolás Arsuaga, Nicolás Barbier, Julián Gago / PHOTOS: Federico Cairoli / TEXT: Gualano + Gualano arquitectos