Casa Zupe by Iván Bravo Arquitecto

Built on the remains of a far older home, Casa Zupe lays down a new order without ignoring the original features of the former building.

When he isn’t teaching architecture or design at universities, award-winning Chilean architect Iván Bravo practices what he preaches as the leader of his own interdisciplinary firm. Working in partnership with fellow Iván Bravo Arquitecto architect Bruno Giliberto, Mr. Bravo based a recent project on the notion of a “palimpsest.”

Palimpsests are the result of the common ancient practice of reusing books, erasing an old manuscript to make room for another. In most cases, traces of the original manuscript will remain visible beneath the new.

Built on the remains of a far older home, Iván Bravo Arquitecto’s Vitacura project Casa Zupe resembles a beautiful, hand-lettered palimpsest in many respects. A striking series of window-filled wooden boxes atop a tall hill, this residence features a layout that “traces a new order“ without ignoring the bays and walls of the former building. From its stony foundation to its panoramic terraces, the thoroughly modern Casa Zupe defines the position of structural elements that came before.