Caja Oscura by
Javier Corvalán

| 6 comments

The roof of this house in Paraguay can be lifted open like the lid of a box (+ movie).

Caja Obscura by Javier Corvalán

Located in the countryside outside capital city Asunción, the house was designed by Paraguayan architect Javier Corvalán as the holiday home of a film-maker.

Caja Obscura by Javier Corvalán

The owners are often away for long periods of time, so Corvalán was asked to create a building that could transform between a comfortable residence and a hermetically sealed box.

Caja Obscura by Javier Corvalán

The base of the two-storey house is surrounded by walls of locally sourced sandstone, which support the concrete floor slab and galvanised-steel structure of the level above.

Caja Obscura by Javier Corvalán

To raise the roof of the house residents simple wind a manual winch, causing the rectilinear structure to tilt open and reveal the kitchen and living room housed inside.

Caja Obscura by Javier Corvalán

When closed, a pinhole allows the windowless space to function as a camera obscura, projecting an upside-down image of the surroundings onto the MDF panels that line the interior walls.

Caja Obscura by Javier Corvalán

The bottom floor houses a bedroom and bathroom. Mezzanine glazing wraps around the edges of this space, creating a visual separation between the two floors.

Caja Obscura by Javier Corvalán

Concrete tiles cover the floor, while the staircase leading upstairs is constructed from cantilevered stone blocks.

Caja Obscura by Javier Corvalán

We've featured a couple of houses with moving walls and floors. Others include a residence that transforms from a villa by day to a fortress by night, plus a home with mobile walls and roof that can be moved to cover and uncover parts of the interior.

Caja Obscura by Javier Corvalán

Other holiday homes completed recently include a prefabricated building in the shape of a cloud and a guest house with a patchwork timber facade.

Caja Obscura by Javier Corvalán

See more moving buildings »
See more holiday homes »

Caja Obscura by Javier Corvalán

Photography and movie are by Pedro Kok.

Caja Obscura by Javier Corvalán
Ground floor plan
Caja Obscura by Javier Corvalán
First floor plan
Caja Obscura by Javier Corvalán
Cross section - closed
Caja Obscura by Javier Corvalán
Cross section - open
  • smack

    This is unbelievable. Very, very cool.

  • adam

    Giant rabbit trap!…. nevertheless, nice idea.

  • Qaisy Jaslenda

    Enclosed, and it’s perfect for two things:
    1. film screenings even during the day
    2. tomb

  • baj

    Heroic novelty isn’t always better.

    Three first-floor tip-up garage doors would have given much more exposure to the outside, for much less effort, money, and likelihood of breaking down.

  • amsam

    What it may lack in practicality it certainly makes up for in poetry.

  • junihaoni

    Patrick the Starfish!