El Retiro is a minimal house located in Retiro, Colombia, designed by LCLA with Clara Arango. Rather than proposing a single larger house, four volumes are positioned in the steep slope, each one situated and structured in a unique way in relation to the topographic features of the beautiful site. Each structure is clearly different, yet they all share concrete formwork and custom made stainless steel details. One house stands 4 meters over the terrain on a single column, while the long partially sunken house is defined by a retention wall. Stainless steel details, windows and formwork are the same, thus both experiences differ in the way that the structural solutions create two different climates and relationships with the slope, one closer to the ground and the other elevated and more open. The gardens link both houses, and the same details and materials in outdoor areas are used inside, an experiment in making them feel larger as one is just 60 sqm and the other 75.

Photography by Luis Callejas