Casa Maria Emilia
Casa Maria Emilia, is a residence built in Asunción of 200 square meters, with traditional materials and an inventive constructive experimental in order to provide shelter and sensations through a tour to the people who visit and inhabit the house.
In the beggining of times, the helpless human being, with no tools, decided to transform his habitat.
Faced with the need of a shelter to protect him, he started to build his own cavern.
Over the years he had been domesticating the fire and discovered that the earth taken into fire had turned into rock.
Today 70,000 years later, we keep on building with the same materials as our ancestors, with water and soil, and the purpose remains the same, to protect ourselves and to protect those we love most.
The house María Emilia, is a product of experimentation, the bricks were placed carefully, sometimes on the floor and then raised in the shape of panels, against formwork and in others simply with the aim of relieving the slab.
Located in Jara neighborhood, one of the most traditional neighborhoods of the capital city of Paraguay. It's a residential area, with no many high buildings and increasingly smaller and more expensive lots.
Asunción has a warm and humid climate, is where we live and also the place where we built this house, on an urban plot of 8 meters x 40 meters in an elevated area of the city near the Paraguay River. The house was generated from two volumes connected by a bridge. A succession of patios illuminates, ventilates and gives life to the house.
The commission consisted on the construction of a house that must have 3 rooms, a living room, kitchen and a garage. The house has two stories. The upper story, a more intimate space, consists of two facing volumes of 5 x 8 meters joined by a bridge of 5 x 2.5 meters raised on pillars modulated to coincide in vertices of the house that shelters the ground floor where the social spaces are located. The structure required a complex study due to the characteristics of the terrain, that forced us to found with piles and it has slabs of 25 centimeters thick which entails a great economic cost. To reduce this cost, we placed cubes of brick of 25 x 25 x 16 cm inside the formwork, distributed throughout the slab and a brick ceiling that allowed us to save money from thickness and terminations. With this system we reduced the thickness of the slab to 5cm, as compression layer, and nerves of 12 centimeter where the armor goes, when replacing ceramics with concrete we get a lighter slab and more economical overall.
The house generates an internal journey where different sensations are experienced with textures, and multiples lights and shadows. This house follows the same logic as the houses of our predecessors, being the meeting place, the place where life goes through. This house tries to find in the daily life of the materials, a spark of construction opportunities for other people and to sat the bases for new knowledge from the experiments carried out. The sequence of actions for the construction plus the inexhaustible patience and effort of María Emilia allowed us to finish the house. About 200 square meters of problems successfully solved.