chapter  8
18 Pages

Additional house types

Houses in dense urban spaces and modern stilt houses
WithCesar A. Cruz

This chapter demonstrates how Klumb combined various aspects of his design repertoire into two particular house types. Those two types are his houses set in dense urban spaces and his modern stilt houses. The first of these house types show the lengths to which Klumb included natural elements in very restricted urban lots. Early on in his time in Puerto Rico, Klumb expressed a conviction that a general schism between people and nature was especially problematic in the modern urban context. Nevertheless, no matter how little space he found in an urban lot, Klumb’s intentions were always clear: any design project can and should accommodate a great many natural elements. In the second house type, Klumb not only emulated the vernacular building type of the jibaro hut, he also amended and adapted it. A major alteration was in interjecting a multiplicity of modern materials and construction techniques. At the same time, he retained a functional simplicity and relationship to the surrounding landscape that were true to the spirit of the original. This chapter demonstrates how Klumb achieved this careful balancing act in a house set amid Puerto Rico’s mountainous topography, the Benitez Mountain Cottage.