Ralph Lauren model and polo sensation Nacho Figueras creates a modern family home outside Buenos Aires
When he was ready to break ground, Figueras turned to Juan Ignacio Ramos, an architect he had first encountered at the age of 17 in the horse barn Ramos was building for a friend. “You’re going to design my house one day,” the teenager announced that morning, and a decade later the dream came true. “Ramos isn’t just an architect,” Figueras offers. “He is an artist who makes houses.”
The straightforward geometry of the structure makes it seem almost like a work by Tadao Ando, the Japanese minimalist, but Ramos says he looked to the region’s colonial heritage. “We kept the historic European houses of the pampas in mind,” the architect says. “The design is simple: stucco on the outside; the floors inside are concrete or an indigenous hardwood called incienso. Big stone walls, very private.”
“The pampas houses had towers,” Figueras adds, “in case of native attacks.” So here a tower rises above a long wall that shades the residence. This one is not fortified, however, but contains an art studio for the multitalented Figueras and is full of his abstract canvases and Blaquier’s black-and-white photographs.
The design of the property, which features a walled garden, was overseen by Blaquier, who studied landscape architecture. “She brought in the pasto llorón, weeping grass, from her father’s farm in the west,” Ramos says. “Nothing manicured.”
“We also moved boulders,” Blaquier adds. “Some of them literally weighed a ton.”
The interior showcases Figueras’s boldly gestural and vividly colored paintings and Blaquier’s oversize photos. An intense red-and-orange canvas hangs above the fireplace in the living room, where a punchy red leather Chesterfield sofa found at a flea market in Buenos Aires is paired with a classic Le Corbusier chaise upholstered in cowhide. In the hall, pride of place goes to an abstract still life by Gustavo Serra—a member of the Escuela del Sur (School of the South) movement founded by Joaquín Torres-García, which Figueras particularly admires. to read the whole story visit Elle Decor.