Chontay House / Marina Vella Arquitectos

Chontay House / Marina Vella Arquitectos - More Images+ 19

Antioquia District, Peru
  • Architects: Marina Vella Arquitectos
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  135
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2014
  • Project Manager: Marina Vella
  • Construction: Oswaldo Cajañauta
  • Facilities: Peter Aranda
  • Technical Drawing: Carolina Neuhaus
  • Landscape: Vivero 4 estaciones
  • Interior Design: Macarena Belaunde
  • City: Antioquia District
  • Country: Peru
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© Gonzalo Cáceres Dancuart

Text description provided by the architects. Site

The project is located in a 5,800m2 rural plot south-east of Lima, 40.5 km from the road that borders the Lurin River from Lima to Huarochiri. The road that leads to the site is surrounded by a beautiful landscape where stone, wood, clay and local flora stand out. 

© Gonzalo Cáceres Dancuart

The irregular site is 70 meters higher than the River area, becoming a great natural balcony of the mountains/valley and the lush vegetation surrounding it

© Gonzalo Cáceres Dancuart


It was a great opportunity to highlight conservation by using sustainable materials that blend unobtrusively with the landscape creating sensorial and visual bonds among the users, the landscape and architecture.  Choosing an exact location was challenging and it lead to a solution of two independent volumes articulated by a garden lined up with the existing trees and the valley. This allows the users to have constant connection with nature and outdoor activities.

First Floor Plan

Main design ideas

-Respect the environment and become part of it; the two volumes are elements in harmony with the environment, each can be surrounded and therefore loose the front-back effect.

© Gonzalo Cáceres Dancuart

-Create a habitat in harmony with the surrounding tones of nature; all the natural resources available on the site have been used: stone, adobe, eucalyptus and cane as well as the traditional construction techniques. The plants are used as design elements, thus integrating the volumes with the landscape and making them part of it. 

© Gonzalo Cáceres Dancuart

-In order to maximize the area for agricultural purposes and outdoor activities the program was solved in a minimum area. 

© Gonzalo Cáceres Dancuart

Functional organization

- Parking in the upper area of the site. Access to the house by a pedestrian pathway  through a sown field. A lateral path is to be used for harvesting purposes. 

AA Section

-The living room, dinning room and kitchen are located in a  68 m2 area sheltered by a tall volume, large window screens assure natural light and cross ventilation.  

© Gonzalo Cáceres Dancuart

-The 67 m2 lower volume has a distribution hall to 3 bedrooms, an attic, 2 bathrooms and the terrace. To ensure the bedroom’s good ventilation and lighting low windows are oriented towards the East and the “teatinas” (Peruvian roof windows used since colonial times) are oriented towards West. The balconied terrace is oriented towards the valley.

- Outside activities: hammocks area,  fire area, and a playground area, gazebo, and swimming pool are surrounded by green and an orchard.

BB Section


A builder with local knowledge of traditional construction techniques was selected for this phase.  In order to rationalize investment resources and time limits it was decided to use a mix construction system; in first phase concrete columns, beams and slabs supported by an adjoining foundation. In second phase walls were built with local materials:  stone, adobe and the cane.

© Gonzalo Cáceres Dancuart

A large curved dry-stone interior and exterior wall gives shape to the high and low volumes on the East side.  The transversal walls were built with adobes were made in-situ and used to delimit the terrace. Eucalyptus wood is the structural element that supports the “Carrizo” (reed grass) sunroof in the terrace. Recycled wood is used for the floors, doors, windows, and shutters. 

© Gonzalo Cáceres Dancuart


Large stones found on site were selected and arranged in an ergonomic way during land movements. For the coating of soil ornamental plants were selected on the basis of the least water need.

© Gonzalo Cáceres Dancuart

Bougainvillea , bignonia and Jasmine are vines used to give color to the structure. To protect the slope between the stone wall on the west side and the upper parts of the ground, Vetiver was used, a plant with a very deep root that acts as a containing wall by controlling the erosion of the land.

© Gonzalo Cáceres Dancuart

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About this office
Cite: "Chontay House / Marina Vella Arquitectos" [Casa Chontay / Marina Vella Arquitectos] 28 Jul 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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