20.8.2009

Mirindiba’s House in São Paulo, Brazil

Although the imaginary and the discourse are also forms of doing architecture, it is the construction, the material, which is most directly associated to its essence.


The critics coined the words brick and mortar as syntheses of various processes which envelop architecture into human knowledge. The construction, contrary to how it initially may sound, is not merely a group of actions practiced on a site, or the work that directly produces the materiality of the architecture. The construction, before all else, is a projective intellectual undertaking: the drawing organizes the production and elucidates the creation. There is no way to separate the practical inventiveness of the stone mason from the intellectual inventiveness of the architecture. They merge together in the construction.
A good construction, therefore, assumes not only choice production know-how, but also a clear resolute drawing. The drawing requires knowledge of the means to accomplish it, knowledge of the materials and the practical execution, as well as the knowledge of the language of drawing. In a good construction all of these elements inter-relate, without any restraints.
The Cury House is an impressive example of construction, good drawing and good execution on building the architecture. The details, exhaustively and precisely drawn are fulfilled in a perfect execution. The use of materials, the shape, the intention of the drawing, quietly materialize, as thoughts on a drawing board. This precise drawing glimmers in the architectural detail. Each small re-entering angle of the house was deliberately thought out.
The cleanliness and the organization of the project are evident in the finished house. The qualified labor works as meticulously as handicraft artists, finally giving weight, shape and color to the architecture. The project, it can be said, is not industrialized. Above all, it is a project, the same of which can be said for the majority of Brazilian constructions, of unrelated units frequently consisting of special and unique constructive components.
Immediately to the right, in the entrance of the house, a large living-room completely opens, using two window-frame moldings that are entirely built into the wall, creating cross-ventilation and an area of continuum space that is totally free. There is no structural interference in this space. The living room opens to a delicate wooden-floored garden with a reflecting pool and minimum vegetation. The perfection of the execution, the surprisingly free and continuous space and the play of volumes; invoke a cinematographic atmosphere. The constructive materiality meets with a said imaginary architecture.
A small atrium articulates the remaining areas: the way to the dining room and to the kitchen and, vertically, to the other places programmed into the house. On the first story are the intimate areas and, on the second, a more reserved social area. In this room, two large wooden lath doors open to a deck which, on one side, a beautiful view of the city and, on the other, a view of the garden which, downstairs, is protracted from the living room. Upstairs, the precision of the drawing and the execution continues to impress and create the cinematographic atmosphere of the house.
By Gabriel Kogan

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