Architectural Oddities Department


About this time of year I often publish an architectural or structural oddity, normally something I have noticed on our travels. Sometimes I have found actual follies, but that’s too strong a term for this one, really. It’s a new house near the town of Piriapolis, Uruguay, where we have just enjoyed some seaside and beach time with visiting family.

It reminds me of those pre-calculator day things called ‘slide rules’ – my DH was old enough to have had and used one, I didn’t, probably because I didn’t get enough involved in mathematics, and then calculators began to appear not too long after that. They are a mystery to me, but watching my father use one, I do recall how they involved sliding one part with numbers or symbols back and forth against gradations on another part – sliding the pieces apart or back together – to get some kind of answer to some kind of question …. anyway, this reminds me of them. they’re actually a real collector’s item right now.

So, it seems the house has been “pulled a bit apart” to reveal the first floor deck, which is clearly the chief outdoor area. So far, anyway.

This is the back, from a bit further up the hill. I don’t know the people, so can’t be sure, but with the absence of a chimney up on the deck it would seem the essential outdoor BBQ, aka the parilla, is not up there but somewhere lower down, maybe along near the car somewhere. It would have to have been part of the essential planning – everyone has one and everyone uses theirs, often.

Just note how dry the grass surrounding the house is. The whole country is tinderbox dry, and no sign of rain. Fires either deliberately lit or ones that escaped from campsites were fanned by strong winds late last week, resulting in a lot of property damage and some loss of life. At least one person has been imprisoned, other charges may follow. There is no open fire ban law like most parts of Australia, but considering the huge number of eucalypts, introduced, and now all over the country, this is something Uruguayans should be looking at. There are disasters waiting to happen here.

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