For my second attempt at understanding methods of camouflage I decided to study Casa Corallo by Paz Arquitectura. The project is located on a hillside forest in the Santa Rosalia area of Guatemala City. The goal of the project was to not disrupt the natural landscape too much and try to integrate as many existing trees as possible. The trees were allowed trough the structure and to interact with the living spaces. The existing trees on the site started shaping and creating a new user experience.
This project blends into the natural environment using the art of mimesis. The house is defiantly seen, but since its material pallet uses mostly poured concrete and wood, the house resembles its’ natural surroundings.
Again it is important to note that all designers have to make the decision to blend in the existing site or to go against it. Here we see how another successful way natural camouflage can be functional and beautiful.
From the outside of the house the project resembles the forest, while on the inside the trees going through the house resemble columns. In this case the definition of the interior space is at tension with the exterior space, and vice versa. For designers harnessing this tension can be dangerous but successful if done well.
Camouflage as the concept for design is interesting because our projects can start to take on more than one identity. What we create can appear to be something on the outside that may not be the case on the inside. Camouflage as a design tool may have interesting implications on environment and maybe even environmental urbanism. If we start to create things that mimic the unbuilt environment, could this affect the social and urban strategies we have put in place? We will see soon… to be continued.