This is a unique, if a little odd, solution to a project on a tight budget. Paraguayan architect Javier Corvalán, inspired by his film director client, designed a house in Asunción whose upper volume—a tilting metal box which houses the kitchen and living room—doubles as a camera obscura inundating the interior with the upturned image of the surrounding landscape through a pinhole. But it isn’t just a nod to the cinema, there are very practical reasons behind Corvalán’s design. With high heat and sunshine the majority of the year in Paraguay, the comfort of shade is very welcome. The tilting feature allows for ventilation and added light as necessary. The budget for the project was a tight 20,000 euros and using materials such as corrugated metal on the top exterior, with concrete and stone sourced from a nearby quarry for the base, and MDF panels on the interior as well as the lack of windows, helped to keep the project on budget. In addition, due to social and economic differences in Paraguay, the crime rate is rather high and security is a serious consideration. The clients’ long absences would have exposed the house to risk of robbery or vandalism but Corvalán’s solution is a virtual hermetic box.
Photographs by Pedro Kok