Arquia Foundation News

Alberto Campo Baeza - Labor of Love in the arquia/film archive


This week in the arquia/film archive, we recommend our latest documentary, Labor of Love, directed by Keith Reamer. The documentary shows the design and construction of the Olnick Spanu House by Alberto Campo Baeza through all of its participants.

A place of profound calm where after a day of rain and fog, intense light is reflected in the still mirror of the deep waters of the majestic Hudson River. A place where the sunsets are a thousand colours when the water breaks into a thousand reflections. A place where the air is clean and calm and temperate. A place that you could say is very close to heaven.

In this impressive place, we decided to create a flat platform which, highlighting the landscape that appears in front of us, attempts to enhance the landscape. To achieve this, we built a large box measuring 122 feet long by 54 feet wide by 12 feet high. It also had sturdy concrete walls to underline the relationship with the land. The cover for this box is flat and made of travertine stone, which allows us to stand on it.

And to protect ourselves from the sun and rain, we erected a light covering measuring 100 feet long by 40 feet wide by 9 feet high on the flat stone, held up by 10 cylindrical steel pillars arranged in a grid measuring 20×20 feet. This cover overhangs by 10 feet on all sides. And to condition that space, we installed a glass box of 94 feet long by 25 feet wide. This glass box houses the rear pillars and leaves the front pillars outside in order to further accentuate the transparency.

This construction on the platform resembles a large table with 10 legs. Three divided areas were created inside by two white boxes that do not reach the ceiling and that contain stairs and service spaces. The central space is the living and dining room with a large white table. On one side closer to the swimming pool is the kitchen, and on the other, in the manner of a pensatorio, the fireplace area. And inside the concrete box, bedrooms and bathrooms. In its central hallway, connecting the main entrance and direct access to the garden, a gallery was created, as in other areas of the house, for exhibiting pieces of Italian contemporary art, of Arte Povera.

In short, once again, the cabin above the cave. The tectonic piece on the stereotomic piece.

More information on the Olnick Spanu House can be found on the website of Alberto Campo Baeza.

You can watch the documentary here.



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