Façadism: Proof That Compromise Does (Or Doesn’t) Work

Facadism Valparaiso Chile

Fusing together modern and classical styles, this building in Valparaiso, Chile serves as an apt example of “façadism,” or the practice where a building’s façade is designed or constructed separately from the rest of the building.

Pending your tastes, façadism exemplifies the rewards of compromise (an existing space can be developed without sacrificing its historical elements) or proof that compromise doesn’t work (façadism tries to bring together two distinctive styles into one building and thus produces little more than visual confusion). In any case, the CSAV headquarters–featured above–in Valparaiso’s Sotomayor Plaza is sure to generate strong opinions.

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The Weird And Wonderful Houses Of Pablo Neruda

Neruda Homes Chascona Eyes

A row of eyes watches over La Chascona, a house designed for an affair. Source: Flickr

The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda was infatuated with being unusual. He would only use green pens to draft his poems, and he even gave himself his own name. His parents had chosen to call him Ricardo Eliezer Neftali Reyes y Basoalto, but Ricardo Reyes re-christened himself as Pablo Neruda as a teenager.

In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Neruda said, “I did not learn from books any recipe for writing a poem.” The same holds true for designing his homes. Full of strange collections of shells, beetles, colored glass, and mementos of life on the sea, Neruda’s three spectacular houses – Isla Negra, La Sebastiana, and La Chascona – are profoundly odd. They are as original as his silky verse.

Isla Negra

Neruda Houses Arches Isla

Archways leading around the back of Isla Negra and offering a glimpse of Neruda’s collection of colored glass. Source: Flickr

The author of Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, The Book of Questions, The Captain’s Verses, and dozens of other books spent his twenties as a diplomat. His posts included Burma, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Spain. When he returned to Chile at the age of thirty-three, he wanted a home where he could write. He found it on the Pacific coast, south of Valparaiso in central Chile.

Neruda Homes Isla Negra

Isla Negra, Neruda’s beloved home on the Chilean coast. Source: Flickr

Neruda called his coastal chateau Isla Negra. It isn’t on an island, and the house is painted blue, but Neruda gave the place this name because of its black rocks and because, for him, it was an isle of isolated calm. He lived there, off and on, from 1937 until his death in 1973.

Neruda Street Sign

This street sign leads to Isla Negra. Source: Flickr

Set on a sandy knoll on the edge of the ocean, Isla Negra reflects Neruda’s devotion to the deep. The house itself is designed as ship, with narrow passageways and wood-plank floors. Sails, tusks, ships-in-bottles, shells, and artifacts from the poet’s world travels brim from the shelves and nooks of each room. Neruda collected ship figureheads, and these carved wooden women, mermaids, and sirens appear throughout the sprawling home. When he entertained guests, he would call himself the “Captain” and sometimes even dressed in costume.

Cut Out Figures

All of Neruda’s homes had weird cutouts like these at Isla Negra. Source: Flickr

Neruda also kept a private bar at Isla Negra. Decorated with the same nautical knickknacks as the rest of the house, the bar has another distinguishing feature. When a friend died, Neruda would carve his name into the support beams above the bar. Visitors to the house today can see seventeen names scratched into the wood.

Neruda Homes Captains Bar

Neruda’s “captain’s bar” at Isla Negra. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Your Dream Home Is Actually In Lima, Peru

S House Lima Peru

Source: Arch Daily

Architectural firm Domenack Arquitectos have played with space and enclosures to generate the perfect, open home for Peruvian climates. From the architects:

The house is the result of dealing with three important variables: satisfying the functional needs of the family, adapting the design to a difficult sloping topography without resorting to complicate and expensive structures, and capturing the views towards a golf course despite the fact that the plot is not adjacent to it.

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What We Love This Week, Volume CXXII

Migrant Crisis Departing Boat

A man watches a ferry depart from Patras, Greece. Afghan, Iranian and Sudanese migrants, many living in abandoned factories in Patras, try to stow away on nearby ferries to Italy. Source: The Atlantic

The Mediterranean Migrant Crisis

Migrant Crisis Rescue Boat

Migrants crowd an inflatable dinghy as an Italian rescue vessel approaches off the Libyan coast. Source: The Atlantic

Fleeing the war-ravaged countries of Africa, the Middle East and Asia, trekking overland to Turkey or Libya, then crowding into ramshackle dinghies in hopes of crossing the Mediterranean into Europe. This is the multipartite journey behind the increasingly dire Mediterranean Migrant Crisis. 60,000 people have made the journey this year alone, according to the UN–and 1,800 of them did not survive. But even for those who do, the journey doesn’t end there. From those who must then hide out in Greece’s abandoned factories to those who attempt to stow away on trucks and ferries bound for Italy and beyond, see more at The Atlantic.

Migrant Crisis Dead Body

The body of a dead migrant is carried from a merchant ship in the Sicilian harbor of Catania on May 5. Around forty migrants died in the Mediterranean the day before, according to the survivors. Source: The Atlantic

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