In the quaint, tranquil realm of Ciudad de la Costa, Uruguay, a curious architectural enterprise unfurls its inviting charm — The Room Behind the Wall designed by livni+.
The project steeped in a deceptive simplicity and aesthetic serenity, presents itself as a multipurpose space that could equally serve as a private sanctuary or a psychologist’s office, or perhaps a transcendental space where both worlds converge. The project's defining elements — a concrete wall, a roof, and an oversized gutter that gathers the melodic drips of rainwater — are conceived in harmony with nature and contextual relevance.
Sited at the rear of a parcel, the construction wields an intriguing layering strategy. A stoic wall secludes the room while simultaneously nurturing a hidden garden within the embrace of a larger, host garden. The echoes of artist Matta-Clark reverberate in the bold aperture pierced through the wall, forging a silent dialogue between the two gardens, creating an interplay of light, shadow, and foliage that renders the space poetically porous. The roof, perched slightly aloof atop the wall, peers out, both offering shelter and asserting its presence. The presence of the oversized gutter, placed purposefully at the roof's front, presents a symphony of nature, gathering rainwater and sending droplets cascading onto a lone rock beneath.
Operating within the parameters of a limited budget, the project explores the use of unassuming yet robust materials. Walls and roofs bear the signature of Isopanel prefab panels, their heart of self-extinguishing EPS foam cloaked in a double-sided galvanized steel sheet, demonstrating resilience and efficiency. The project features an exterior dressed in overlapped cementitious boards, a play on texture and a subtle nod to the raw beauty of the environment. Meanwhile, the interiors, clothed in eucalyptus panels, exude warmth, drawing the outside in. The choice of a black buttoned rubber surface for the flooring completes the tactile experience, grounding the space and inviting the inhabitants to dwell in its comforting serenity.