I have worked on enough hillside houses lately to really try to come to terms with the demands of the forest, which are not insignificant, especially in the presence of tall trees. The form of a tower seems appropriate to me, both in its reflection of the dominant verticality of the trees and as a prudent consolidation of the footprint where every inch built means displacing more jungle. I knew that I wanted to use masonry, not wood, and initially was drawn to brick. Yet plaster managed to press it’s way back into my mind, especially after having the opportunity to see it used to such dramatic effect on the Casa Nera. The plaster walls both counter and mimic the vocabulary of the forest: hard, linear, man made, and yet soft, natural, and very much of the earth. And not to mention, it’s one of the few materials we have that readily stands up to the challenge of moisture that the forest provides.

Here are some brick towers that have inspired me.