Spending some time with the Chilean architects who ‘consider’ rather than ‘design’.
Early this year I had the pleasure of spending five days with Sofia von Ellrichshausen and Mauricio Pezo (known simply as Pezo); staying in the house they designed, and talking almost non-stop about architecture and what they might do for this exhibition. It was very special witnessing how they work together. They would sit close, engaged in an intense discussion that would move quickly, building on one another’s ideas, while also questioning their own propositions. As they talked through ideas it was Pezo who would have a pen in hand, drawing as they talked.
I could see how their ethos and approach to architecture was reflected in their buildings. Together they bring an innate understanding of how people will respond and feel in a space and marry it with an absolute belief in an aesthetically pure architecture.
I was really struck by how coherent and certain their buildings are. Their own house and studio, Casa Cien, stands upright – almost like a small monument – in a suburb, nestled into the foothills on edge of the industrial town of Concepción. A plinth with tower atop, it is a bold object that is starkly different from all the houses that surround it and is in no way apologetic about the fact.
I asked them how those in the neighbourhood had responded when it was built. I gather people were rather perplexed and unsure to start with, but it has become a landmark and point of curiosity and interest that seems to be making its way into people’s hearts.
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