LCLA office's ballen house is two concrete structures nestled in the wild andes

LCLA office's ballen house is two concrete structures nestled in the wild andes

sculptural concrete among a wild garden

 

located 6,900 feet (2,100 meters) above sea level in colombia, oslo-based LCLA office and local architect clara arango complete the ‘ballen house.’ the project is comprised of two separate structures linked by a path and a large garden in a forest clearing. what might have been a large, single house was planned as dispersed volumes nestled onto the sloping site. each is situated uniquely according to the topographic features of the forest clearing. the two structures take shape with their own unique expressions, yet they share a concrete formwork and custom-crafted details of stainless steel.

LCLA ballen house
images by luis callejas | @lcla_office

 

 

LCLA office celebrates the nature of the mountains

 

LCLA office (see more here) and clara arango (see more here) note that the forest clearing on which the ballen house is sited was once used for cattle pasture. this created the opportunity to reconfigure the landscape by designing new gardens that link both structures. the gardens in the slope were planted with species that seem to be from a much higher climatic zone. in the cold, high, and mountainous location, the wild garden is a fantasy of plants which look similar to high-altitude alpine plants including wild orchids and bromeliads, among others.

LCLA ballen house

 

 

the two structures of the ballen house

 

the smaller of LCLA office and clara arango’s ballen houses floats thirteen feet (four meters) over the landscape atop a single cross-shaped column. meanwhile the second, longer house is partially sunken into the earth and takes the expression of a retention wall. the stainless steel details, window profiles, and formwork are shared between both structures, designed by the architects and developed in stainless steel to avoid future maintenance.

 

the experience of each house differs in the way that the structural solutions create two different climates and relationships with the slope — one closer to the ground, perhaps more humid, and the other elevated and more open. the gardens link both houses, while the same details and materials in outdoor areas are used indoors, which is part of the experiment in making the houses feel larger, as one of them is just 645 square feet (60 square meters ) and the other 800 square feet (75 meters).

LCLA ballen house
the smaller house seems to float above the landscape

LCLA ballen house
the elevated house is surrounded by a canopy of trees

LCLA ballen housethe long, embedded house is naturally lit from above

ballen-house-LCLA-office-clara-arango-colombia-designboom-06a

LCLA ballen housecurtain partitions create a soft and dynamic interior atmosphere

ballen-house-LCLA-office-clara-arango-colombia-designboom-08a

 

 

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LCLA office’s ballen house is two concrete structures nestled in the wild andes
 
LCLA office’s ballen house is two concrete structures nestled in the wild andes
 
LCLA office’s ballen house is two concrete structures nestled in the wild andes
 
LCLA office’s ballen house is two concrete structures nestled in the wild andes
 
LCLA office’s ballen house is two concrete structures nestled in the wild andes
 
LCLA office’s ballen house is two concrete structures nestled in the wild andes
 
LCLA office’s ballen house is two concrete structures nestled in the wild andes
 
LCLA office’s ballen house is two concrete structures nestled in the wild andes
 
LCLA office’s ballen house is two concrete structures nestled in the wild andes
 
LCLA office’s ballen house is two concrete structures nestled in the wild andes
 
LCLA office’s ballen house is two concrete structures nestled in the wild andes
 
LCLA office’s ballen house is two concrete structures nestled in the wild andes
 
LCLA office’s ballen house is two concrete structures nestled in the wild andes
 
LCLA office’s ballen house is two concrete structures nestled in the wild andes
 
LCLA office’s ballen house is two concrete structures nestled in the wild andes
 
LCLA office’s ballen house is two concrete structures nestled in the wild andes
 

project info:

 

project title: ballen houses

architecture: LCLA office | @lcla_office + clara arango

LCLA office team: luis callejas, charlotte hansson 

location: el retiro, colombia

completion: 2021

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