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Edificio JC


Lima, Lima, Peru

September 2021


Sandra Barclay (Architect), Jean Pierre Crousse (Architect)


Jordi Puig (interior designer), Luis Flores (Structural Engineer), Equipo G (Sanitary Engineer), Walter Silva (Electrical Engineer)


Jordi Puig, representing G. Santillana, M. García Burgos and V. Crousse


Cristobal Palma


The deepening of intimacy has been a constant aim in our approach to living spaces. The project blurs the boundaries between public, urban and domestic realms.
The preservation-guideline-complying façade and its vertical openings associated with traditional houses act as a screen that defines a reversible threshold. The space between the apartments and the screen becomes an open-air, intermediate space where large, offset balconies ensure social dynamics between neighbors. From this threshold, the city appears as an “interior space” framed and edited by the screen’s vertical openings.
On one hand, immensity emerges from the deepening of intimacy. The threshold is where you feel at home but not yet in your apartment — an indoor-exterior space.
On the other hand, this space determines three concepts of place: 1. The place of the city, limited by the urban silhouette. 2. The place of the threshold, limited by the screen that edits the place of the city. 3. The place from where the threshold is appreciated, which is double: from the interior of the apartments and from the place of the city, the traditional street.


The small 4-unit apartment building is located in Barranco, an old summer resort beside the Pacific Ocean, now a designated historic district of Lima and a protected landmark neighborhood.
The project leverages the complexity and contradictions of the town’s preservation guidelines —such as a 12-meter height limit, street alignment, vertical fenestrations, and a 30% non-built area requirement on a small plot-. A new building type is proposed based on these challenges. The new type preserves the space of the traditional street. Still, it generates a transversal transparency, a porosity of the urban space that goes beyond creating a buffer between public and private.
The commission comes from the aspirations of four friends to live together in the historic center. They decided to call an architect and directly build it using the method of self-construction. Thus, the project could evolve over time (in fact, it began as a place of collective transdisciplinary creation), and could adapt to the requirements of these four people. Self-building escapes the laws of profitability and economic efficiency but not the economy of means, so the creation of living spaces was privileged over the speed of its construction.


The screen façade and the threshold space are essential for the thoughtful and innovative integration of new buildings into historic contexts. They bring new vitality to housing projects that must respond with clarity to the present needs while respecting the historical context.
These two elements allow the design of well-oriented, fully glazed apartments that ensure natural ventilation and lighting while complying with preservation guidelines’ small openings in the façade; to have large terraces for each apartment while respecting the façade alignment to the street; to find parking places with no expensive solutions, and without losing the quality of inhabitable space.
These features configure a low-tech, air-conditioning-free living space, where indoor spaces can be equivalent to exterior ones. As a result, the project reconciles the advantages of enjoying the urban density of a historic neighborhood and living in a generous free space that encourages a sense of community.

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