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ÅNGUERA by Tiago do Vale Architects

This is a project filled with singularities. A project that is as much about what is built as it is about its communication.

In the interior of the Brazilian Northeast, it had to be particularly aware of the limited resources available locally (both in quantity and variety) but, fundamentally, its design and communication had to be adjusted to the characteristics of the local manpower.

Considering that perspectives are more effective in communicating architectural objects than plans we wondered -with some naive curiosity, good humor, but also a practical spirit- if a house construction could be explained with a universal IKEA-like communication strategy.

This idea of a project explained with the simple, basic language of an IKEA furniture manual became a project strategy: the representation of the project became the theme that gave the project its shape.

In consequence, the operations that allow the transformation of this building had to be simple, almost simplistic. The constructive solutions had to be basic, easily controlled in their finish and executed with just a couple of steps. The complete construction had to be condensed to a sequence of simple and clear movements that could be explained in just a few pages.

Hence, the full construction is solved with a short palette of materials: cobogo, concrete blocks, cement, wire-mesh panels, MDF for the carpentries, glass for the openings.

The starting point is the plain demolition of everything non structural.

The new dividing walls are raised block over block, with no finish other than painting. Some wall panes are constituted by cobogo masonry, allowing for ventilation at strategic points of the structure.

The floors are finished with poured concrete, the same material used for the kitchen counter.

All carpentry is executed in hydrophobic MDF painted on the site.

Door and window frames are designed from basic metal profiles and, where transparency is required without prejudice of ventilation, wire-mesh panes are raised.

The end result, with a limited set of steps and no further need for finishes, are spaces ready for occupation, at a low cost, inherently sustainable and belonging to the place.

Crucially, such a process can be extrapolated to any project, resulting in simpler, easier and better-adapted constructions that can be built with fewer resources while being less demanding the manpower.

In this exercise Process, Project, and Representation became one and the same.

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