The Hip Roof with Eaves and without Ridge

A luxury mall in La Barra, Uruguay, combines the traditional with the modern in an exclusive environment.

Shopping Center Oh! La Barra, Uruguay. Make clic to know more

Hi, the Falkland Islands archipelago is one of the places that I visit frequently, it was inevitable put one of its islands in the list of possible locations where I will construct my future building, the selected is (drum roll…) the Bourbon Island or Pebble Island, as the locals call it have two monuments that recall the Falklands War: one for British and one for Argentines.

If there is something missing from today’s world is the constructive criticism, this is something that the famous actor Mario Fortino Alonso Moreno Reyes (Cantinflas) did very well in his movies, and in his real life, my favorite movie is «The sweeper» where he plays a character named Napoleon. But Cantinflas has nothing to do with the building that I bring you today, in fact, is not only a building, is a grouping of them with an exquisite uniqueness which, I am sure, you will love.

The Netzaj company, promoter of this building complex, had a great idea when they invited me to the opening of the first Shopping Center (Centro Comercial) of La Barra, Uruguay, whose name cannot be more evocative: Oh! La Barra (you like huh?). The opening was in december of last year (2014, if you read this from 2016). Honorable mention deserves the ideologist of this complex, Mr Carlos Ott, perhaps, the most international Uruguayan architect, who was able to understand what the promoters needed for this luxury leisure area.


The connoisseurs say that Ott selected noble, harmonious and environment-friendly materials, structuring architecture of lines simple and bohemian, I, Rodolfo, whose last name is as popular as the name of a historic city, am not an «expert» and I can outline my opinion in a more form abrupt and easy: I like! The complex consists of several buildings which, at different levels, is interconnected between them and make each trip unique and different, the buildings converge in a central courtyard with fountains and swings. It has 150 parkings and an exclusive parking for 50 vehicles.

The investment has already reached the $ 25 million and has 60 locals distributed in 5,000 square meters. These locals are being occupied by marks of first row such as Ralph Lauren, Gottex, Valentino, Havanna Café, Freddo, Undici. Librería El Virrey or Super Dry among others. But this is not all, they will continue building a tent for events, a cinema 6D with interactive seats and an amusement park unique in the country. The complex will culminate with a boutique hotel of 50 rooms of an international hotel chain that is yet to be decided. It is expected that the megaproject occupy a total of 15,000 square meters of surface.

For me, the constructive element more attractive and innovative of those buildings is its covers which, with a great success, have been designed to breaking the classic lines of a hip roof. The designer of the complex has wanted to introduce a landscaped area at the top, he has made a classic hip roof and has sectioning the cover by a horizontal plane creating the landscaped area in the process, a master cut I call it. This «master cut» not only creates the garden surface, too it raises the cover to an upper bound giving elegance and magnificence to the set.


We have, therefore, buildings with eaves and without ridge (highest cover line where converge the eaves), really, you do not can understand how excited that i was enjoying of this constructive work without paragon, even I ignored for a while to my companion Canela, the most beloved dog of this magazine, their owners still do not have forgiven me.

But this is not the only surprise that brings the cover, their edges are not terminations standard, i.e. do not end with regular edges with pipes to collect rain water, no, here the designer also has given us a joy leaving the ends of the common rafters (transverse divisions that distribute the load of the eaves to the perimeter joists) in sight. This detail gives an impression of simplicity which, together with the plants protruding from the top, evokes a constructive past integrated completely with the environment.

I have not said it got dark in the opening of the luxury mall, see the dark skies through the large windows inscribed on the cover of the shopping centre has been one of my best gifts of Christmas, a gift in advance, of course, but gift at the end. That luck must feel the persons that live in La Barra and often enjoy this new social and commercial meeting place. A building system that improves in time is a construction system that perpetuates the friendly legend of the construction. Bye bye.


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