A Visit to Carlos Páez Vilaró’s Inhabitable Sculpture, Casapueblo

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In 1958, Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró purchased property on Punta Ballena near Punta del Este, Uruguay. He built a wooden lodge on the land to live in and then began building a grand, inhabitable sculpture there stage by stage. Páez Vilaró created each new portion of his Casapueblo (“House-Village”) in the image of the mud nests that local hornero birds build.

The final product is a 13-floor surrealist compound of whitewashed cement and stucco that looks like nothing else in South America. The site has been a leading tourist destination in Uruguay since the late 1960s and now houses a museum, art gallery and Hotel Casapueblo.