Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects: Detached

A tale of two houses, alike but different and removed from Chile
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Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects, Detached (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

1 / 4 Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects, Detached (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects, Detached (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

2 / 4 Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects, Detached (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects, Detached (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

3 / 4 Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects, Detached (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects, Detached (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy

4 / 4 Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects, Detached (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy


The meaning of context is the question raised by Detached, the installation of Pezo von Ellrichshausen, a Chilean/Argentinan architecture firm. Detached consists of two concrete scale-models of houses, each built in Chile in 2005, each propped on a metal stand and set in front of a large landscape photograph of that house in its context.

The Fosc House was built in San Pedro, Chile, a small village, where it is surrounded by vernacular houses in bright colours. The Poli house was built in Coliumo, on an isolated spot along a dramatic rocky coastline. The two models, simplified down to cubic forms indented with cubic windows and dwarfed by the gigantic photographs behind them, appear at first glance to be extremely similar, and in fact their overall exterior form is also closely related to a number of other houses built by the architects in Chile, including the 2003 Rivo House in Valdivia and the 2007 Wolf house in San Pedro.

By isolating the object of the house from the photograph of it in its landscape, the architects seem to be suggesting that a building can never fully participate in its surroundings. At the same time, the overall similarities of the models provoke questions about their differences – why is one green and other grey? Why is one four-sided and the other five? Why do the window indentations differ in size and depth? – questions that, one suspects, have a lot to do with the particulars of the views and climate around each house, and with the needs of their inhabitants.

More of Pezo von Ellirichshausen’s work, is featured in Phaidon’s 10x10_3 and The Atlas of 21st Century Architecture.

 

By Sara Goldsmith
Project Editor, Architecture & Design, Phaidon


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