Concrete, architecture and nature in the Andean landscapes of Colombia
by Mariana Jaramillo
Located under the shadow of two giant Saman trees, Los Samanes House is one of the wonderful architectonic treasures hidden within the exuberant, tropical vegetation of the Andean landscapes of Colombia.
Designed by Arch. Carlos Campuzano Casteló and Ing. Francisco de Valdenebro Bueno, the house sits at an elevation of about 710 meters above sea level, making this paradise lucky to have warm temperatures all year round, providing it also with an ideal habitat for exotic flora and fauna.
The owner of this house is not only passionate, but also an expert in the field of concrete, and thus the whole house is made up of an ochre tonality of this material, giving it the attributes of creating a warm and cosy environment on the inside and blending with its surroundings on the outside.
The project is both, an architectural and an engineering design, where the structural and the architectural elements are the same and can not be differentiated; everything is a whole. The house has no columns at all and works all on the same level with absolutely no steps. In addition, the house has a lot of hand crafted special items such as lamps, chairs and flower pots, amongst others, that are made up by the same concrete used all over the project, creating a sense of unity and fluidity.
Following important architectonic principles, this house was designed sustainable and responsible with the environment, by recycling water, having a small overall carbon print, recycling of construction materials such as wood, having no air conditioning and using solar energy.
Also, nature and architecture are in harmony, where the vertical and horizontal concrete elements frame amazing close and far away views from every space in the house, bringing nature inside of the project, and using the light of the sun to create special dynamic shadows filtered by wooden jalousies that change throughout the day.
Los Samanes House is definitely a project, where beauty, serenity and harmony can be admired due to the relationship between architecture and place, where its natural materials and its exotic surroundings work together to bring the best out of each other. It is a place to enjoy and to feel at home.