Over 14 thousand kilometers, a minimum of three stopovers and at least 24 hours of travel. The last two to be traveled by car, from Bariloche to the Province of Chubut, in the Andean Patagonia, among a nature made of lakes, crystal clear rivers, mountains and living rock. When you get to El Hoyo, it feels like you're on the edge of the world.
But it is only a return trip for Marcelo Burlon, who left it as a child for Italy. “For me it's a special place. My maternal grandparents were Lebanese, they had moved to El Bolsón (about ten kilometers as the crow flies) in the 1930s. Grandfather was a merchant, he traveled enormous distances on horseback from farm to farm, selling food and everyday objects. Here my mom was born and met my father, Italian". A place that, in those years, hosted a large hippie community. "And now it will welcome my tribe, " he says, "made up of friends, musicians, DJs, painters, artists."
Space is not lacking. Built on 22 hectares of land, his new home is 600 square meters. The central body is built on the rock: "In a very energetic place, it is said to be a meeting place for brujas blancas, the good witches". From here the windows open completely towards the valley and the heights of the Andes, in an uninterrupted dialogue between inside and outside, reinforced by the use of local materials, such as "lenga" wood, "which is found at high altitude, in the Andes, and it is very difficult to recove and iron. «I wanted a simple structure, a sort of container in which there were sharing spaces: a large living room with sofas, a room with television and console: I have many DJ friends, I myself am and always improvise parties. And a giant kitchen, where you can experiment all together, even if the last time was Marco Miglioli, Michelin-starred chef, in the kitchen. The table is 12 meters long, it was the floor of a container that has been polished and now welcomes 35 people".
Always adapting the containers, he continues, "we also built the houses for friends, they are very simple", but have an aesthetic integrated into the landscape, thanks to the same materials: wood, iron and glass. "Because there is only one bedroom in the central house," he laughs. "All friends but " to a certain extent", each one at home" .
The initial project of Alejandro Sticotti, one of the best known architects in Buenos Aires, has been adapted during construction, "with the help of my childhood friend Diego Breide, he was the deus ex machina of the operation. Together with the boys of the village. And it was not easy: to bring the material to these areas we used cranes and trucks, there were only five tons of cables ...". For the interiors he has chosen natural nuances, declinations of white, cream, gray, the rugs are designed by him, in a collaboration with Illulian, who produces them in Persia, in wool and silk; "And every room has a wood stove, as it uses in these areas ."
The outdoor swimming pool is heated and takes on the color of the Patagonian lakes, a dark green, made from a granite that is still south, on the Atlantic Ocean, "in the area where whales pass". Near the house Marcelo is creating an open-air contemporary art gallery, with only Argentine artists. "I have a totem that will dominate the valley of Luna Paiva, who presented really interesting works at Art Basel, and a work in black granite by Juan Pablo Marturano, an incredible sculptor, who first climbs and then carves the mountain". In the house there is also a gym "because "you have to train", but the intention is also to go trekking. And shopping. "I support local artisans, at home I have a collection of inlaid mates (a container to drink the homonymous drink, typical Argentine, ed.). When I arrive with my friends, then, we stock up on their work". For a sense of community, which is part of his DNA and is capable of eliminating distances.