Status: Competition (2012)
Types: Microarchitecture, Study
The cave represents the very defined space. The primal shelter where once our ancestors found protection from the wind and the rain, when the wilderness of nature had the most direct impact in our lives.
Today we live in cities, in an artificial landscape where nature has disappeared, except when the severity of natural disasters shock us by their dimensions. Instinctively, every urban man recalls the lives of his ancestors. We naturally crave a return to the wilderness, definitive or temporary, where we can feel its toughness and richness. It is our primal instinct, no matter how urban we may became. The house in a waterfall we propose exposes that instinct, as it promotes the reconnection between man and nature.
We thought the void behind a waterfall´s cave would be an interesting choice for protection in a natural environment. A secret cave. A huge dramatic space to receive such a delicate small piece. The potential of its atmosphere, dark, wet, rough and cold, crystallizes a deep contrast when compared to the open and intangible space of the forest. The wall of water represents the ultimate border between inside and outside, between luminosity and darkness, expanse and closure, vulnerability and protection. The intensity one can feel just by crossing this border was in the very base of the project.
Inside we place a rectangular room which is as tall as a person. A small transparent volume shaped like a house. The glass acts as the very last skin, protecting the occupant from the cold and the humidity in the air. We choose the glass as a material, not to reach the illusion of nothingness, but rather to take advantage of its reflections. The house expresses is existence in the cave by reflecting it, at the same time that allows us to see trough it. The contrast between this two different elements enriches the experience. A continuous game of light chances and moving reflections where the architectural object dialogues and enhances its surroundings. By felling the deepness of the cave, by listening sound of the infinite wall of water and seeing the bright outside reality filtered by this wall, the modern man can once again sense is deep relation to the wilderness, and rest.
A cave behind a waterfall combines the need for a shelter in a natural environment and the secretness of a hideout. The ultimate refuge in the wilderness.
By introducing a glass hut inside, we make the space habitable. Desirable for a modern man. We create the primal hut.