The Modern Roadtrip
A drive along the Uruguayan coast reveals contemporary art and architecture among the beach resorts.
By Genevieve Paiement
Casapueblo has more in common with the whitewashed architecture of the Greek islands than with local design. The dream project of artist and poet Carlos Páez Vilaró, it looks like a fairytale castle made of hollowed-out marshmallows. The sprawling complex encompasses a slightly ramshackle hotel and restaurant with a gift shop selling Páez Vilaró’s artwork, but the grounds and breathtaking peninsula alone are worth a stop.
The contemporary retreat of Playa Vik in the village of Faro José Ignacio is part futuristic, part organic, with custom works by the biggest international names in art and architecture. (Note the Zaha Hadid table in the library.) Its six casas have pink flowers blooming on their earthen roofs, and each interior was designed by a different local artist. Striking a space-age note, a granite cantilevered pool floats above the sea.
Fundación Pablo Atchugarry
Winding through green pastures, the road leads to a cluster of cubic white buildings that house a gallery, an event space and Montevideo-born artist Pablo Atchugarry’s workshop. Atchugarry, who spends much of his time in Italy, specializes in large-scale Carrara marble sculptures. On the 25-hectare grounds, you’ll also find wood, steel and stone pieces scattered around a man-made lake. Just add cheese and wine for a perfectly arty picnic.
Vancouver Island via Victoria
Air Canada and Air Canada Express offer convenient daily non-stop flights to Victoria from Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. From Victoria, your first stop in Nanaimo is less than a two-hour drive away. Travellers departing from Vancouver also have the option of taking a ferry to Nanaimo from one of two departure points, Tsawwassen or Horseshoe Bay Terminal.
Uruguay via Buenos Aires
Air Canada offers five weekly flights from Toronto to Buenos Aires with a stop in Santiago. From the airport, drive to the Buquebus terminal, where a ferry will take you to Montevideo, Uruguay.