This work is the result of a process that began in 2004 with the construction of a summer house in the forest of Mar Azul.
It was necessary to intervene in a territory of great scenic beauty, owner of a powerful wild presence at is gradually becoming domesticated due to the proliferation of houses with a formal search from bucolic to picturesque which in nothing refers to that environment or to this present .
The project was implemented as an opportunity to propose shapes, materials and alternative uses in tune with this particular environment. The search is then oriented toward a propositional architecture of a more leisured use of the dwelling, whose materiality and formalization were the result of a belonging will to that pre-existing reality.
This is how the recognition of the particular microclimate of the maritime forest of Mar Azul and the atmospheres it recreates, as well as the need to concrete the construction from a distance, were determinants of aesthetic-constructive decisions which defined the work.
The need to capture the light in the dense forest led to conceive housing as a “semi covered” and then to resolve it with large panes of glass, which will enable views from inside in all directions and from outside would reflect the landscape allowing the house to mimic therewith. The decision to accelerate the execution time to allow monitoring the work at 400 miles away defined the exposed concrete construction. It was evaluated that the prevailing shade allowed using this material because it provides sufficient thermal protection from spring to late autumn.
Its winterization, given its status as summer home, was not relevant (though of course it was planned) and the hydrophobic insulation could be solved with a very compact concrete and a study of the envelope shape so that the rainwater evacuation will take place very quickly. It was also expected that the expressive quality of exposed concrete molded within a formwork of wooden boards may result from a forceful and mimetic presence at once, allowing the work to coexist in harmony with the landscape.
In short, a skin of only two materials – concrete and glass – turned out appropriate to solve the integration with the landscape and to respond to formal, structural, functional, maintenance and termination issues.
Las Gaviotas is a small seaside resort on the coast of Buenos Aires located between the forests of Mar Azul and Mar de las Pampas. A virgin territory of fixed dunes with planted acacias and poplars to which is overlapped an orthogonal trace that defines lots suitable for construction of multifamily developments.
In this case it is an atypical parcel, of just 15 m at the front, with a dense and young poplar plantation, located 300 meters from the beach.
It’s a set of studio apartments for vacation, with a small administration and a house for the owners, in charge of the units’ exploitation. With a change of ownership involved, this property became a new two-room unit. The square footage to be built would be the maximum allowed under code.
The project should fulfill the premise that the resulting volumetric accentuates the set idea by proposing common spaces and making imperceptible the individualization of each unit, without thereby resenting intimacy and privacy. So that each house should have two access and with its own expansions, and controlled views to and from common spaces as well.
It was proposed a three-dimensional grid developed on two floors alternating covered, partially covered and open spaces of different scale and use, keeping all the trees from being affected by the proposed construction. In this way the views from the units would be a cutout from the original green landscape of the lot and its vegetation would also serve to achieve privacy between the houses of the assembly and in relation to their neighbors.
The functional organization
Passing through the courtyard entrance you access the set by a semi covered directly related to the administration. The ground floor units are reached through a free path through the common areas and you access them by their private expansions. From the two main courtyards and through their own stairs you enter the upper floor units that have private terraces as expansions, which are created as a result of occupying the space reticule.
Each unit consists of a single room with two distinct areas: the sleeping room with a bathroom and a storing sector, and dining and sitting room with an area for cooking.
The work was done in exposed concrete, a material that unifies in a single element structure and finishing. H21 concrete was used with the addition of a fluidifiant so that this mixture, with little amount of water to harden, results very compact and doesn’t require sealing. In the bathroom and kitchen areas was chosen to solve them with dry construction: galvanized pipes structure and pine boards on the exterior walls, and plasterboard on the interior. The floor cloths are also from concrete screed divided with aluminum plates. The openings are of dark bronze anodized aluminum. Electric floor heating is used as heating system combined with salamanders.
Except the beds, couches and chairs, the rest of the equipment of this house is solved in concrete
Location: Las Gaviotas, Villa Gesell, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Architecture office: BAK arquitectos / http://www.bakarquitectos.com.ar/
Design and Project Management: Archs. María Victoria Besonias, Luciano Kruk
Collaborators: Arch. Florencia Testa, Federico Santinon
Land area: 675sqm
Built area: 260sqm
Units: 6 units + Administration
Construction year: 2013
Photos: Inés Tanoira