grupo Q lata jovai: house WF, paraguay grupo Q lata jovai: house WF, paraguay
dec 09, 2012

grupo Q lata jovai: house WF, paraguay

‘house WF’ by grupo Q-lata jovai, asuncion, paraguayimage © bayena sosaall images courtesy of grupo Q-lata jovai




at first glance the decrepit looking building seems somewhat unkempt, especially considering renovations usually aim to update the original construction with newer and typically high-costing materials. make no mistake however, the ‘house WF’ built by local practice grupo Q-lata jovai for a musician and his actress wife specified a low budget not due to financial restriction, but as a design objective. the site, a narrow lot of 4.5 x 30 meters in the middle of asuncion, is surrounded by offices and contained previously constructed, and currently ruined, structures at offset levels. at the back end, a previous residence, and at the front a half-shambled commercial space. the architects sought out to use every possible characteristic of the site to the advantage, using construction not as a means to create luxury, but as a tool used just enough to form the spaces with only the essential elements that provide comfort. as a result, the existing components were either utilized directly or recycled into the additions, and the new structure was designed to continue the vernacular.

(left) street side facade with rusting corten doors and reused bricks with perforated clay bricks on the top that block views and allow ventilation(right) interior courtyard and house entry with lateral exterior walkwayimage © bayena sosa




a reinforced concrete frame and shear wall system, as is used in most parts of the world, sits exposed to the exterior with two steel beams running longitudinally in the outer walls embedded within the cast-in-place girders. old and broken bricks found on site were directly re-used as a masonry infill wall that face the street. during the restoration, a water cistern was discovered at the front entrance, which was left untouched and as such the corner column was not able to be inserted; the mass above is then left as a 4.5 meter cantilever held by the same post-tension strategies as used to provide lateral support in industrial sheds. the wood joist members found in one of the preexisting homes were re-used in the new dwelling, recycling the ceramic spanish tiles to be used in a mezzanine space. at entry level are the social functions – a semi-exterior gallery and living/dining room; at +0.9 m the kitchen and services, followed by the bedrooms at +2.9 m, a studio at +3.8 m and at +5.8 m an outdoor terrace looking out towards the bay.

entrance walkwayimage © grupo Q-lata jovai

back entranceimage © grupo Q-lata jovai

exterior/interior gallery spaceimage © bayena sosa

post-tension system helps support cantileverimage © bayena sosa

image © bayena sosa

new doors contrast the rugged irregular exposed materials of the structureimage © bayena sosa

(left) front door(right) central stairs services all floors, made up of a mixture of materials found on siteimage © bayena sosa

catwalkimage © grupo Q-lata jovai

living room and half-storey kitchenimage © grupo Q-lata jovai

brick texture detailsimage © grupo Q-lata jovai

site plan



floor plan / level 0



floor plan / level 1



floor plan / level 2





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