Hotel Villa barranco
In 1920, Rosalia Zignano de Botto acquired a part of the extensive land owned by Juana Josefa Valdeavellano de Tweddle in the Barranco resort, in what had been the El Pacayar estate of the diplomat, journalist and writer Juan Francisco Pazos Varela. Three years after taking over the site, in 1923, the Polish architect Ricardo de Jaxa Malachowski was hired to build two very similar “huts” with tile roofs, decorated facades and a tower between the two buildings. These operated as a single batch until the early 1940s, when they were dismembered. In 1987, the main house was declared a National Monument for its architectural value, for being the work of the famous architect and for keeping an important part of the history of the district and the city.
This is what the Ministry of Culture reveals about the house on Carlos Zegarra Street. There is not much more information about the original house. Just a few photos, but no plane. It was found in a rather dilapidated condition. This project, as a house in Barranquilla, was quite special because it has a lot of ornamentation, a facade with sculptural elements such as the mosaic frieze, and recovering all that was a challenge. They also added certain constructive features, such as the fact that, unlike other mansions of the time, which had a patisserie roof that provided protection from moisture, this house was only protected by tiles that had fallen off over time.
The adobe walls of the first floor were dismantled
And they were reinforced with wooden columns to later reassemble, following traditional techniques and putting a final finish with plaster for their consolidation. On the second level, the cladding, which was badly damaged, was also removed and the walls were rebuilt. Between these two floors and the exterior of the house, the architect created the nine rooms that make up the boutique hotel. The remaining clay tiles were recovered and made new following their mold, even copying the stamp of the French brand. An important detail was to recover the colorful mosaic design that adorned one of the upper towers: the few original pieces were disassembled and restored one by one in a workshop.
To complete the missing pieces, new glass pieces were manufactured and gaskets were replaced following the original pattern, once the new moldings were installed.
The architect Augusta Pastor joined the project to collaborate with the choice of finishes and take care of the interior design. “Some plans were drawn and some ideas were expressed, but the interior design was defined at the moment, with what was being found and seeing how it looked better in the place,” explains Pastor. The architect did not come with a style or a fixed idea of what she was looking for and she let the house ask for it. However, it was clear that every architectural style is flexible, and even more so, that should be the premise of this project: “Being a house of this nature, it would not have been good to opt only for antique furniture,” says Pastor. “In the mix with modern and contemporary pieces is success. Also, it was important that the house did not look like an Italian palace. ”The rooms are characterized by having beautiful old pieces recovered, and also much more current and clean furniture and accessories. The most important part of the interior design project has been the search for objects that took a year and a half. Even so, some details are missing, Pastor reveals. Space will know how to wait for it. This house understands the value of time.