Chimney Casa Wabi by Alberto Kalach

Alberto Kalach designs tall red-brick chimney at Tadao Ando's Casa Wabi

Mexican architect Alberto Kalach has built a 22-metre-tall chimney for children to make ceramics on the site of the Casa Wabi artist retreat designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando.

The architect, who runs TAX Architects with partner Adolfo Romero in Mexico City, designed the chimney as a ceramic kiln for Casa Wabi retreat and arts charity foundation in Puerto Escondido, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca.

Chimney Casa Wabi by Alberto Kalach

Japanese architect Ando completed the centre for Mexican contemporary artist Bosco Sodi's Casa Wabi Foundation in 2014.

Sodi tasked Kalach to design the kiln about a year ago to accompany a pottery studio by Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza. Together, they are used to teach local children how to make pottery with red clay that is common to the region.

Chimney Casa Wabi by Alberto Kalach

Kalach used locally sourced brick to complement the materiality of Siza's brickwork studio, as well as the activities inside.

"After working the pottery, they can burn it in the chimney," Kalach told Dezeen "I wanted to make a reference to where the bricks are burned, so the material and design speak for itself."

Kalach, who also designed the landscape on the Casa Wabi property, made the chimney very tall in order to contrast with the property's flat surroundings. No trees are closeby, allowing the chimney to further stand out.

Chimney Casa Wabi by Alberto Kalach

"I thought the chimney was a nice idea because the landscape is very flat," Kalach said. "I thought it was nice to have a distance reference."

"The garden has like 26 hectares, and sometimes you get lost in the garden, so a chimney could be used as a reference point for visitors too," he added.

Chimney Casa Wabi by Alberto Kalach

A meandering pathway leads to the chimney, passing alongside local shrubs and plantings. The lower two-thirds of the structure is covered in triangular pieces to add texture, and also offer a reference to ancient chimney designs.

Inside, triangular pieces are arranged in a spiral shape to stop rainwater from entering.

Two access points for the chimney are designed in contrasting styles. A rounded concrete roof extends to cover the entrance on one side with a rectangular opening, while the other entrance has slanted zig-zag walls that meet at the top.

Chimney Casa Wabi by Alberto Kalach

Casa Wabi is home to a growing complex of pavilions by well-known architects like Siza, Kengo Kuma and Solano Benítez.

Sodi, who is a Mexican contemporary artist, also designed a symmetrical brick installation Atlantes on the property. It is further away from the chimney and near the beachfront.

Photography is courtesy of Casa Wabi.

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Chimney Casa Wabi by Alberto Kalach
Chimney Casa Wabi by Alberto Kalach