Quick on the Rise

MAPA Architects' Retreat in Finca Aguy

Peublo Edén, Uruguay

Leonardo Finotti

MAPA Architects regards prefabricated homes as the perfect way to create spatial dwellings that effortlessly integrate into natural surrounding landscapes.

Located in Uruguay, their project ‘Retreat in Finca Aguy’ is proven evidence of this thought process. Transported over 200km to site, the pre-fabricated design by the Uruguayan studio has been seamlessly integrated into the vast landscape with minimal disruption to its surrounds.

Building in a remote, rural or rugged environment presents a construction challenge ensuring the home sits harmoniously within its surrounds. The MAPA team emphasise, “remoteness should be seen as a new possibility, as a value, as a generator of domains and conditions. It confronts us with awareness of scale with which to work, in amongst the vast and immenseness. It puts us in our role in reality and creates a tthinking process around one-ness.”

The main advantage of the prefabrication model is in offering clients the opportunity to build at an affordable price in remote or rural locations without impacting heavily on the natural landscape.

“The home becomes a hybrid, finding beauty in co-existence, in shared uses, in applied engineering and its way of showing itself, remaining primitive, almost untouched.” Finca Aquy embraces this hybrid existence in its entirety.

The Retreat inFinca Aguy by MAPA Architects consists of two modules of identical 12.5m length, produced in a controlled environment construction plant, and transported the large distance to site on trucks.

Slowly lowered onto previously erected crossed stone walls, all in keeping with the neighbouring olive grove and natural environment, ground construction is minimised along with waste and staff placement. “In landscapes of high natural value it is fundamental to respect their original conditions…nature and industry need to work as one.”

The two end walls of the house are clad in corrugated steel and each house low windows bringing light into the bedrooms located at each end. Adjustable wood louvres feature in front of the vast floor to ceiling glass at front and back allowing flexibility for inviting in the surrounding views or optional shade and privacy.

The open plan living, dining and kitchen is located centrally with a sheltered balcony terrace spanning the width and extending out beyond the supporting stone wall. The walls, floors, ceilings, and kitchen fronts are all clad in timber finish, creating a simplistic and humble space for all spatial dwellers to enjoy.

Perhaps considered one of the most important features of the house is the ability of ‘dis-assembling’ it’s structure without a visible impact on the landscape.

The completed project is a stunning no-frills prefab home that profoundly complements its natural surrounds and re-enforces that uncomplicated and efficient really does lead the way.

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