This project became a house in the process, its present configuration defined during construction, its final purpose still undetermined.
The family needed a structure that would allow them to start using this beautiful plot on weekends to get away from the city, but could not decide if it was to be just a pergola with a barbeque, a weekend cabin, a second home, or even a second office.
This uncertainty and vagueness thus become the strategies and the tools for constructing the project:
Based on two fixed requirements that were not to change, a field for playing football and a barbeque for entertaining, we first established how the plot could be occupied, keeping the cars at street level and leaving the flatter bottom area of the site for the football field, forming a platform within and at level with a grove of endemic algarrobo trees that had taken over a good part of the lot.
Within these limits but with no definition for use or dimension we embraced vagueness as an open system, avoiding the architectural free plan container in favour of actual undetermined space.
We set out to achieve this through a very clear and systematic spatial and dimensional strategy that could be directly translated into material, variable construction, a diffuse border system, a porous structure that could allow gradual change within a set of rules, while keeping with the strict restrictions of seismic resistance.
A redundant, light structural system based on standard steel flat bars, 6000 x 300 x 4 mm (6 and 8 mm where needed), a three dimensional lattice modulated every 600 mm.
Although the lattice has the exact same elements in all three directions it is actually two dimensional as the steel flat bars have no depth or volume. It is modulated but is irregular, elements are present and repeated only as structurally, spatially, or functionally needed; this allowed for variations in plan every 600 mm as decisions in use were made.
This lattice stands independent from the use and dimension of the spaces, but varies in order to respond to their layout, configuration, dimension and use. It is a diffuse border but with a particular quality or degree of porosity, becoming literally as weak or strong as required. Depending on your position within or without the lattice it becomes absolutely defined and solid, or it apparently disappears.
Although it is the structural, spatial and material system, it is not identifiable as an architectural or structural element that relates us to a house, thus it is undefined, a diffuse border between architecture and structure, between material and immaterial, between inside and outside.