quinta yuste


altamira, caracas

area: construction 1040 m2

site 800 m2

design and architectural restoration

design team: alberto schwarz + daniel zambrano

we were commissioned for the restoration of a brutalist house built c. 1975.

consisting of 4 levels, concrete structural walls all over the house penetrate the terrain creating different types of terraces with different characters and several uses (from more social to more private ones).

the house was built and designed by its first owner, architect maurice poler, who lived there with his family for ten years. it was later sold in the 80’s to a new owner who made some changes to the flooring and woodwork. they also removed some windows and sealed a private studio on the fourth floor for security reasons.

after that, it was abandoned for about 15 years and sold again to a new owner who wanted to restore its original essence. the project consisted in bringing back some core elements from the original design, but also making some radical changes to the layout that would turn the place into a more functional space.

e.g.: the master bedroom had a staircase which led to a walk-in closet/shower/jacuzzi downstairs -and a private studio upstairs- making it a little impractical for someone to take a shower after a few drinks late at night. we decided to integrate that downstairs space to the formal living room on the social level, turning it into a bar and private lounge. we then added a bigger master bathroom and a new walk-in closet space next to the master bedroom by removing the adjacent older bedroom on that floor. the client needed four bedrooms in total, so to make up for the one that was transformed, we turned one of the existing studio spaces on the top level into a new guest room.

materials were maintained and highlighted. For example, keeping the same flooring pattern, we turned the existing black granite in the living and kitchen areas into a lighter marble for the new bar space which gets less natural light during the day.

we kept the concrete as it was, since it is not very common to find these types of finishes so well preserved. for us, this became the most important material to protect, only suggesting for it to be cleaned and restored to highlight its raw and brutalist identity.

finally, the original concept of the house included a series of fountains that required a lot of maintenance, so we decided to turn them into built-in planters to make the contrast between the concrete and the greenery more evident.