Joining the Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2022, our annual list of exciting emerging practices from across the globe, Paraguay’s Equipo de Arquitectura champions tactile, site-specific architecture that feels just as good to touch as it does to live in.

Who: Equipo de Arquitectura

Asunción’s Equipo de Arquitectura is the brainchild of Chile-born Horacio Cherniavsky and Paraguay-born Viviana Pozzoli. Since 2017, the small studio – now eight-people strong – has been operating from the Paraguayan capital tackling projects of various scales – from single-family houses to larger housing developments, and from religious structures to cultural architecture. At the heart of its work sits an approach that favours tactile materials, earthy textures and colours, and inspiration that stems from Paraguay’s climate and urban conditions. The results are designs that have already won the practice several national, as well as international awards.

Sculpting each given material to form spaces for habitation, and working with light and volume are key to the design process of Equipo de Arquitectura. ‘We constantly seek to integrate the existing natural environment with the built. This way, we enhance what’s pre-existing, respecting the natural environment of which we are part,’ Cherniavsky and Pozzoli say. One of their best-known residential projects, La Casa Intermedia (pictured), exemplifies this philosophy. 

exterior of Casa Intermedia by Equipo de Arquitectura

What: La Casa Intermedia 

Located in Paraguay’s capital, Asunción, La Casa Intermedia is an ode to brick and semi-open-air spaces. A structure defined by its brown brick masonry walls that extend to form impressive vaulted ceilings, crafted around a steel frame, the family home brings the indoors and outdoors together at every corner, with ease and architectural flair. The house plays with the boundaries ‘between the public and the private, the open and the closed, the inside and the outside, the mobile and the fixed, the light and the shadows, the natural and the artificial, the artisanal and the industrial’, the architects write. 

The project, a commission from a close friend, is placed within a 190 sq m site, and arranged in two volumes that flank a central courtyard, which hosts a mature mango tree. The home covers a little over half of its plot, spread across a single level with high ceilings and wrapped in swathes of glazing in-between the brick walls. Foliage helps shade the interiors and protect privacy, while inside, perforated screens, shutters and moveable partitions divide up areas as needed, while keeping the whole flowing and connected. The exposed, raw materials add a utilitarian feel, but 20th-century and contemporary furniture, fabrics and wood features help create warmth for an urban domestic space fit for the 21st century. 

bedroom at Casa Intermedia by Equipo de Arquitectura

Why: Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2022

Conceived in 2000 as an international index of emerging architectural talent, the Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory is our annual listing of promising practices from across the globe. While always championing the best and most promising young studios, over the years, the project has showcased inspiring work with an emphasis on the residential realm. Now including more than 500 alumni, the Architects’ Directory is back for its 22nd edition. Join us as we launch this year’s survey – 20 young studios from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Japan, Nigeria, Paraguay, Thailand, the UAE, the UK, the USA, and Vietnam with plenty of promise, ideas and exciting architecture.

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living space at Casa Intermedia by Equipo de Arquitectura
Dusk at house with vaulted brick roof and perforated wall, La Casa Intermedia
inside outside relationship at Casa Intermedia brick house
Asunción home with courtyard, Casa Intermedia