As a kid, everyone likes to play with Lego pieces. It’s so fun to be able to create something. You get to build miniature houses and even then you have to find a way to make them stable and to give them a nice layout. It’s a great exercise for when you become an architect and you get to build real houses. So imagine yourself doing the same thing as you were doing with Lego pieces but on a larger scale.
Ecuadorian architects Jose María Sáez and David Barragán designed and built the Casa Pentimento. It’s a beautiful house located on a gentle slope but that’s not the most interesting part about it. As you may have noticed already, this house is built from concrete blocks. It’s made entirely of precast concrete modules and building it was like paying with Lego blocks. The blocks were stacked to create the walls of the house. In some areas, the walls have gaps and this intentional design was chosen in order to create a semi-transparent structure that filter the daylight and lets it get through inside the house.
The concrete blocks have a very interesting design. They have one flat side that creates a normal wall when stacked and the other side is notched. It can serve as shelves and it’s a wonderful built-in detail. These surfaces can also serve as planters or as mounting spaces for furniture. Building the house from precast concrete blocks was quite easy. It was also fun and cost-effective. Everybody got to help raise it and to see how dynamic and efficient this method is. Moreover, this system also helps regulate heat loss and humidity.
The result was an unusual but interesting house. It has many eye-catching features and most of them are related to the method of construction and to the actual structure and design of the house.