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Two Minimalist Tower Homes Duke it Out in the Death Cage

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Imagine you're looking to commission one of two plans for a pared down, boxy home by Chilean design firm Pezo Von Ellrichshausen. How do you choose? The answer is simple: you shove them into a metaphorical cage and let them battle it out until one emerges victorious. Yep, that's right: it's time for a Design Deathmatch.




Left: Concepcion, Chile; right: San Pedro de la Paz, Chile

Two upright rectangular homes by Chilean architecture duo Pezo Von Ellrichshausen appeared on Dezeen this week, both designed around the same guiding principal of housing folks in a tall, unadorned mass that outright rejects any traditional notion of "curb appeal" but actually looks quite charming on the inside. One, covered in layers of rough concrete aggregate and named Casa Cien, is the architects' own home and studio; the other, known as Casa Gogo, contains twelve rooms organized three to a story, with each floor split into separate levels connected to a single spiral staircase in the center. The two projects have enough in common to prompt a lively discussion about the aims and execution of each, but first, that most vital of questions must be asked and answered: which is cooler? Is it time for raw concrete's day in the sun? Does making an entire home traversable only by a single spiral staircase sound more impractical than awesome? Did PVE pull out all the stops for their own home and office, saving the very best of their ideas for themselves? There's only one way to surmount this kind of impasse, and it involves a (metaphorical) death cage and a whole lot of voting. Yes indeed, it's time for the PoMo Chilean abode head-to-head to end them all.

Photos via Dezeen

↑Though it has been thoroughly demonstrated that concrete homes don't have to be Brutalist monoliths or parking garages, Casa Cien does have the less-than-unanimous consensus on the aesthetic advisability of its cladding going against it. Already on Dezeen it's been called "cold outside, cold inside," a "modern version of Medieval dungeons," and on the more sunny side of things, "architecture as art," and a clear improvement on the "shallow form-making" governing the "vast majority of current architecture." White-painted timber panels line the insides of the home, and built-in furniture conforms to the shape of the rooms, which are laid out on a grid. Plus, it looks like a pretty fun place in this video tour.

Photos via Dezeen

Poll results

Pezo von Ellrichshausen's Casa Cien is a home and studio with a bumpy concrete finish
Concrete staircase spirals up through Pezo von Ellrichshausen's Casa Gago
All Design Deathmatches [Curbed National]