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Arno Brandlhuber’s Three-Tiered Béton Brut Masterpiece In Uruguay

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Name
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Rocha House
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Words

Known for his concept-driven concrete constructions, in 2015 German architect Arno Brandlhuber completed a stacked béton brut masterpiece in the town of Rocha in Uruguay.

Just an hour north of Punta del Este on the Atlantic coast, the town of Rocha has a population that swells from 3000 to above 30,000 during summer. Here, Brandlhuber has created a three-story building that stands as the first working example of the four directions module; a building typology that his studio has been developing for the past decade. The module proposes a construction type that positions elements of the house according to the sun. The concept notes that in the Northern Hemisphere, east/west orientation is the best for living spaces; with morning and evening sun, while north/south orientation is best for working spaces.

In the Rocha house this is achieved by stacking the elements of the house in three perpendicular layers; the flexible design allowing the space to be used as a single beach villa, or three separate units. While all units share similar square meterage, they have been designed to be used in different ways. “For example”, the studio explains, “one unit has a large kitchen, while the second just has a few burners and the third only has an outdoor grill”. This offers different lifestyle options for the occupants; “In this way”, the studio statement continues, “the house suggests a variety of possible uses, such as hosting a visiting friend or temporarily downsizing to rent out the other units.”

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All images © Erica Overmeer