D’Onofrio House. Bianco+Córdova+Williams | Aldo G. Facho Dede

D’Onofrio House. Bianco+Córdova+Williams Arquitectos. Lima, Perú 1949

The house D’Onofrio, projected and constructed in 1949, is an important project to understand him evolution of the of Lima architecture. Not so publicized as the Wiracocha of Miró Quesada (1946), but with a sum of components of high architectural value and that sure came out in other projects. It was a mask of the magazine “The Peruvian Architect” in the edition of January, 1950 and enough good documented with photographies and planes in the interior. Thanks to it today we can study and check her it so it was mezquinamente demolished a few years ago, left by the memory, easy dam of the renovation edilicia of the city.

First it acts of the company Bianco-Córdova-Williams. According to the architect Adolfo Córdova Mario Bianco (architect formed in Italy) it is presented to the young person study Cordova-Williams by the German architect Paul Linder in the middle of 1947. It supports them in some projects in march and thanks to his contacts with the Italian colony it obtains this first order for the family D’Onofrio.

As precedent of the work of Córdova and Williams we have the International Club of Shot Arequipa Nº14, projected in 1946 in society with the architect Polar, where they exhibit a clear adhesion to the Modern Movement in coherence with the exploit of the Group Space that would not be late in appearing. Far in scale of the Villa Savoye of Corbusier, the Club takes to my criterion this way of relating to the natural way so much as volume as in the distribution of the different functions, leaving for the first floor the social spaces for whom the enjoyment of the landscape is thought.

Of Bianco we do not know very much, he is an important personage for future investigations since it came to Peru about 1946, in a moment of important changes in the local architecture. For a temporary topic we us can risk to affirm that he was formed in the concepts of the Italian Rationalism, encouraged in the first moment for the dictatorship of Mussolini and that Luigi Figini and Gino Pollini had between his exponents more emphasized to Giuseppe Terragni, Adalberto Libera. We can read in the architecture that Bianco left us the influence of his coterráneos in the managing of the materials, volumes, emptinesses and plots, but his architecture will not look for this monumentalidad proved from the rhythmic inflexibility, big volumes and scales more urban that you humanize; Bianco’s architecture uses of the textures and volumes to compose architectural sets with a sensibility more aesthetic enough than rational, fragmenting them and combining them to approach the pedestrian (School of Architecture of the UNI), playing with colors in a city of gray roof, trying to talk with his neighbors handling scales and volumes (Holel Savoy), without all this commits an outrage with the modern base of his exposition that is recognized planimétrica and spatially.

We have then for the house D’Onofrio the sum of two complementary manners of seeing the architecture, adscriptos to the Modern Movement, which they find in moments different from development and maturity. Looking for the hand of each one of the designers, I can see more Bianco in the access from the street for the fragmentation in planes of the volumes and utilization of architectural elements to take the double height of the entry to the pedestrian who comes from the path, resource that it uses then in the School of Architecture, and to Córdova and Williams in the austerity of the volumes, lacking in any formal element beyond the managing of the openings and materials. Equal I consider hurried to attribute specific features of the house to one or another architect, see rather the mímesis of the three in a project that meets studied in each of his scales.

The project is inserted in a lot of corner, in San Isidro’s residential of Lima neighborhood, the house assumes his three foreheads relating to the street by means of a plastic game of walls and volumes that appropriate of the exterior spaces and form the access. The interior court (for which the room is opened, dining room and bedrooms) borders on the street across a wall of bricks, unlike the walls of stone that form the first floor, coming undone formally of the principal volume.

Interior front. House D’Onofrio. Bianco+Córdova+Williams Architects. Lima, Peru 1949

The volumetría is composed by two categories on that for moments they superput and in others they combine. The first floor is worked from big walls that spread appropriating of the retirement (Mies van der Rohe), generating different situations of relation between the house and his urban environment. The world of below, that in this case is the social world, is recognized stony and murario and assumes the interface with the land, is the support of the second floor that is worked as the intersection of white volumes that are perforated to look on the outside. This appraisal volumétrica is confirmed in the reading of the plants published of the project.

The first floor. D’Onofrio House. Bianco+Córdova+Williams Architects. Lima, Peru 1949

The formal managing of these elements compositivos does not limit itself to this first reading, the high volume goes down irrumpiendo in the order of the walls to generate the space of revenue, leaves the inhibition of the small vain ones to be opened in a great large window that exhibits his interior but that is not left to see up to being inside what we might define as the first space of the house, which is the opened foyer generated by the sum of volumes and planes. This one is the sector “manierista” of the house, where the noble walls of stone and white volumes combine with light revoked walls that a bit take these certain haughtiness from him to the building and take him to the daily thing of the viandante.

The second floor. D’Onofrio House. Bianco+Córdova+Williams Architects. Lima, Peru 1949

Out of the space of revenue, the house relates to the exterior by means of fenced openings, guarding the big vain ones for the interior court, for which there are opened the room, dining room, kitchen and principal bedrooms. Here this prevalence of the wall gets lost on the holes, which appear, to my judgment, sobredimensionados, losing a bit the rigor compositivo that we see in other fronts. The carpentries are metallic, minimal, disappearing in the vain one, accentuating the reading hollow on wall. In the photo that has come to us from the interior front a structure of cane appears forming a space of shade that The Peruvian Architect is not registered in the planes published in the magazine. Córdova comments to us that it was added later by Bianco to order of the owners, on the election of the material it affirms that the author was investigating in these years you construct in cane that there led him to designing structural systems that it used in different projects.

Section. D’Onofrio House. Bianco+Córdova+Williams Architects. Lima, Peru 1949

I consider important to emphasize the care in the detail of the overlapping of the walls of stone with the white volumes. In the front of the garage the white thing absorbs to the stone superputting the plane of the front in the area of the slab, in the front to the interior court the white thing exceeds minimally to the plane of the stone to absorb the possible differences generated by the different textures. In the published plants the walls appear coplanares and of equal thickness, but working with the photographies and thanks to Córdova’s testimony we can affirm that this relation was modified in pos of solving in meeting of materials and the thickness of the enchape in stone. It is so the white walls are flying lightly on those of stone, modifying the alignment of the structural walls.

The game of volumes that shows itself in the front is enjoyed also in the interior. The foyer of double height distributes to the zone of is dining room that is a couple of steps (approximately 30cm) higher than the office and garage. This relation is kept in the high plant, where the bedrooms are outlined of the environments of service that they are in the low volume. There is a court of service that links the garage with the kitchen and by means of a stairs with the zone of service of high plant.

Interior. D’Onofrio House. Bianco+Córdova+Williams Architects. Lima, Peru 1949

The managing of the environments seems to me to be interesting in the first floor, though it was not an innovation in the international context, in the place still environments physically separated and communicated across doors were used. In the house D’Onofrio he competes for environments that flow spatially and separate finely by means of walls, heights and objects. Since I mentioned previously, Grain is to my very present judgment in the managing of this plant. To be separates of the dining room by means of the chimney, and the transition of the dining room to the kitchen her does the dining room of diary that appears as a great furniture opened or closed according to the desire of the user. The stairs, of the foyer, constructed in wood and designed by Bianco, is handled as a sculptural, questionable object if we look at it only with utilitarian eyes, but beautiful as managing of the materials and the space.

Interior. D’Onofrio House. Bianco+Córdova+Williams Architects. Lima, Peru 1949

The second floor is more conventional, the foyer talks spatially with the distributor of the bedrooms and with the office, looking this way for a major spatial extent. I surprise it reduced of the baths for the dimension of the rest of environments, the same thing happens with the environments of service to comparison of the great court and tendal. Córdova mentions as important topics to highlighting the personalized design of the furniture and the managing contrast of color in the interior, topic that it affirms was very commented in the professional way of then.

After re-drawing and to analyze the house, I leave myself to surprise once again for the force of the project, for the lesson of architecture that is to study these buildings, for the transcendency of the Modern Movement, which is in his essence starting meeting temporarily our society.

Aldo G. Facho Dede · Architect Author of the Blog Habitar: Ambiente+Arquitectura+Ciudad

Lima · july 2012

Arquitecto-urbanista, docente-investigador, convencido de que nuestro país necesita desarrollar sus ciudades en base a modelos de planificación urbana estratégicos y adaptativos, que partan desde las personas y el ambiente, y que busquen la multiplicación del bienestar y su equitativa distribución.

Arquitecto-Urbanista por la Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería (UNI-FAUA), título homologado en Argentina. Magister en Desarrollo Sustentable por la Universidad de Lanús (UNLA-FLACAM, Argentina). Estudios de Doctorado en la Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña (España). Experiencia profesional en Urbanismo, Planificación Urbana y Arquitectura, desarrollada en las ciudades de Lima-Perú, La Plata-Argentina y Barcelona-España. Ha participado en el desarrollo de proyectos y consultorías para Perú, Argentina, España, México y Brasil. Ha ganado concursos de arquitectura y diseño urbano en Perú y Argentina. Es docente del área de Urbanismo de la USAT y miembro del Consejo Consultivo de la Escuela de Arquitectura de la UDEP. Es socio de FDARQ Urbanismo + Arquitectura y editor del blog HABITAR

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