El Caparazón House & Workshop / Grupo Culata Jovái + Tekoha Arquitectos

© Leonardo Méndez© Leonardo Méndez© Leonardo Méndez© Leonardo Méndez+ 23

  • AreaArea of this architecture project Area:  250 m²
  • YearCompletion year of this architecture project Year:  2020
  • PhotographsPhotographs:  Leonardo Méndez
  • ManufacturersBrands with products used in this architecture project

    Manufacturers: Deca, FV

  • Lead Architects: Ramiro Meyer, Miky González Merlo, Emmerick Braun, Mariángelez González, Daniel Díaz, Hassan Yaryes, Thommas Sahlmann, Camila Fernández.

© Leonardo Méndez
© Leonardo Méndez

Text description provided by the architects. Understanding our work as a service is difficult when the intention to build goes beyond the Vitruvian triad, and when it is indifferent to the market. When a project is conceived in terms of dreams, desires, sensations, and magic, the architectural response turns more towards the materialization of spatial ideas than towards a real estate service.

© Leonardo Méndez
© Leonardo Méndez
© Leonardo Méndez
© Leonardo Méndez

Neither approach is right or wrong in itself, they’re just different ways of doing things. An academic architect should be prepared to respond to the task at hand, seeing work as a meaningful and dignifying activity of the human being.

© Leonardo Méndez
© Leonardo Méndez
© Leonardo Méndez
© Leonardo Méndez

The project is located in the city of Areguá, about 30 km from Asunción, in a semi-urban/rural context where the limit between forest, countryside, and the city is difficult to recognize. The urban monster seems to advance without any plan. Could planning societies like ours ensure a better future? We have to respond by thinking, designing, and building, almost at the same time, with construction as an indivisible part of the project. We build structural forms that are balanced between the limits of the resources that we have: labor, local materials, and budgets.

© Leonardo Méndez
© Leonardo Méndez
© Leonardo Méndez
© Leonardo Méndez

Every process started is almost a finished process in itself. It is about shortening processes and generating cycles to achieve greater efficiency and less impact. We understand ourselves as “people who make things” – it is not necessary to label ourselves as architects or builders. For the sake of bureaucracy, it is necessary to label oneself as a professional architect, to be authorized by the state to do things that everyone can do. In our context, there are more constructions created without professionals. They stand there and they still stand there and they will continue to stand there. Six years of time and consumption to allow us to be what we are …

© Leonardo Méndez
© Leonardo Méndez
© Leonardo Méndez
© Leonardo Méndez
Section A-A
Section A-A
Section B-B
Section B-B
© Leonardo Méndez
© Leonardo Méndez

From Paraguay, we can be sure of one thing: the university brought us closer to people who know how to do what they do and to other curious beings like us. Thanks to the exchange with these people, today we know how to do what we do. Who defines what “you have to know” in order to be an architect that enters the market? Or to be content producers for architectural media? Or to be builders of societies?

© Leonardo Méndez
© Leonardo Méndez

In the end, this project is a private enterprise, a house/workshop, for the mass production of ceramic utilities, and a temple for the artistic development of the owner. These times of excess information, hyper-connectivity, and distancing allow us to consider housing as something more than a residence, a place where the different layers of human life overlap.

© Leonardo Méndez
© Leonardo Méndez

Courses, workshops, and orchards, work that is inserted in a place with a very marked tradition. The house is not an isolated construction, it is inserted in the context to carry out community development, a meeting place, an association of people.

© Leonardo Méndez
© Leonardo Méndez