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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

House cher in Buenos Aires province, Argentina by BAKarquitectos

 
April 25th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: BAKarquitectos

BUILD IN THE FOREST
Propose alternatives to ensure the survival of natural environments
Mar Azul is a place we know for many years for that reason when in 2004 built the first work we knew we had to intervene in a country that despite its great scenic beauty never had a legal support that will secure the heritage of greed of which lotean with one goal: make as land rent. What does it have a code, understanding the logic of this privileged environment, regulated by solving the mismatch between that subdivision inappropriate and the possibilities of building without losing the environmental quality of the site. This situation described is added as aggravating the proliferation of a type “picturesque house in a place of fantasy,” which gradually “domesticating” the forest, still owner of a rugged powerful presence. Operate on that site then assume its misalignment meant as a challenge and see how far, architects can make a contribution alternative.

Night View (Images Courtesy Gustavo Sosa Pinilla)

  • Architect: BAKarquitectos
  • Name of Project: House cher
  • Location: Mar Azul, Partido de Villa Gesell, Buenos Aires province, Argentina
  • Architects: María Victoria Besonías, Luciano Kruk.
  • Collaborators: Sebastian Indri, arq. Leandro Pomies
  • Area: 600 m2
  • Surface area: 105 m2
  • Year of Construction: 2009
  • Photos: Gustavo Sosa Pinilla

The response was the proposal of a minimal architecture resources, both material and formal, not only as aesthetic choice but as an ethical principle of recovery of a more rational use of the various resources available. That architecture was incorporated into the landscape stripped willing to membership, seeking to integrate into the existing reality. For this to happen you need to “listening” what the site communicates the first approaches must be free of prejudices about the same in order to capture not only the data and therefore tangible and measurable qualifying, but those atmospheres that place provides and that we can only understand if our eyes are free of preconceptions about it. This means practice exercise to “see first.” Consider the data, letting those feelings overcome by providing the place and imagine himself as the capitalized project is essential to be able to fuse architecture and landscape.

Night View (Images Courtesy Gustavo Sosa Pinilla)

We had practiced this exercise (almost like a professional service) vacationing in Mar Azul repeatedly, so that we valued the powerful presence of his forest landscapes, sensations that provide constant changes in time, but also had experienced the microclimate that provides : attenuation of the strong offshore winds that occur under the trees, the constant shadow protecting these provide heat in the summer while producing a very wet winter, which for us was instrumental in the decision-making at the when planning, the fact that under the pine trees is reduced considerably the amount of light throughout the year. We also knew that the forest does not require maintenance other than removing dry vegetation, if not introduce new species to break that harmony.

Night View (Images Courtesy Gustavo Sosa Pinilla)

Take advantage of what the environment offers
Recognizing this particular microclimate was determining (together with the available budget and need no maintenance of the house) of the aesthetic-constructive decisions that defined the work. The need to capture light led to conceive the first work as a “partially covered” and then solve it with large panes of glass from the inside will enable views in all directions and reflect the landscape outside the house making mimetizara with it. The need to accelerate the implementation deadlines of the work and avoid the after we decided to build with exposed concrete. The prevailing shade on the other hand allowed us to use this material and that it provides sufficient thermal protection from spring to late fall. Preparation for the winter was not too important (though of course it was intended) because its use is very limited given its status as a summer house. The insulation was resolved with a waterproof concrete compactness and a study of how bound for the evacuation of rainwater will be made very quickly.

Exterior View (Images Courtesy Gustavo Sosa Pinilla)

Wisely use the resources available
The expressive quality of concrete and its strength and impermeability properties already mentioned, made ​​superfluous any type of surface finish, achieving a low cost of implementation at the ends without the need for future maintenance. On the other hand the color and texture of concrete made ​​with formwork boards resulted from a strong presence and mimetic at a time, allowing the work to be expressed in harmony with the landscape. It is short, an envelope of only two materials – concrete and glass – solves the integration with the landscape and responds to formal issues, structural, functional, finishing and maintenance.

Exterior View (Images Courtesy Gustavo Sosa Pinilla)

The same criterion the resolution of the outdoors was the result of performing the operation on the environment less. He avoided all kinds of landscaping not only for the convenience of keeping not only to avoid leaving unnecessary limits expressed in a landscape that are not very built, nor industries contrasting landscape features of this privileged environment. We like this marked homogeneity of coniferous forest interrupted only now and then for some acacia and pampas grasslands of our other hand are the dominant vegetation in the dunes near the sea.

Exterior View (Images Courtesy Gustavo Sosa Pinilla)

SEVERAL HOMES, SOME QUESTIONS
The proposal that our study has been done in the forest of Mar Azul, as concerned in this integrated environment that cause it, and so far from the stereotypes of the place, has found great acceptance. Several orders for houses with a special request to repeat the same solution constructive and aesthetic value both decisions on a more relaxed use of housing, lack of maintenance and construction. This is certainly very gratifying for us but in turn raises a series of questions that become food for thought in each new order. Let them raised is one way to begin to tackle it.

Exterior View (Images Courtesy Gustavo Sosa Pinilla)

If the proposal is submitted to both the functional environmental unit how to aesthetic requirements, use and maintenance of principals is valid to seek a new solution without further justification other than to try something different, relying only new?

If instead we choose to continue making concrete houses is it licit to produce changes in appearance using for example a phenolic formwork, manipulating the surface finish with special finishes or using colored concrete? All these procedures are not they purely decorative maneuvers that go against the principles of austerity and simplicity that gave rise to the proposal?
Repeat this motion for materiality as a prototype where reworked with every order they belong to the landscape and the different ways of inhabiting it not seem logical and ethically correct?

Images Courtesy Gustavo Sosa Pinilla

Site
The plot of 20m x 30m on which we needed to intervene is at the edge of the forest urbanization of Mar Azul in front of a large tract of similar landscape features. This area of dunes fixed by acacias and pines has not yet been divided into lots and principals that condition was a very valuable feature because it is now expected to remain so for a long time and they can enjoy a lovely setting overlooking without constructions that modify it. The batch slightly higher than the adjacent lands, no very marked differences in level. Its surface is gently undulating and is very forested.

Exterior View (Images Courtesy Gustavo Sosa Pinilla)

The commission
Principals, a couple with two teenage children, we were promised in 2004 when they discovered our first work in Mar Azul they would buy a lot for a house they did the same characteristics. In 2008, define it and true to the promise we handle your home for the summer. It should be about 100 m2, to be highly integrated into the landscape and take advantage of spectacular views to the forest nearby.

Exterior View (Images Courtesy Gustavo Sosa Pinilla)

The program
They needed to have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, one en suite and a common place (with kitchen) as generous as possible. We suggest that since the children were teenagers seemed logical to give them the ability to have separate bedrooms but as the surface could not be increased will we plant them narrow bunk (we show them pictures of sleeping with these characteristics). The idea seemed acceptable as long as these did not result very confined spaces.

Exterior View (Images Courtesy Gustavo Sosa Pinilla)

The proposal
The particular highlight of the lot, the distant views to the undeveloped forest and the particularity of family composition, are the issues that are unique to this house with a constructive proposal aesthetic similar to others built by the studio in Mar Azul. Within an elementary volumes (a prism with its longest side parallel to the street) resolved an organization of media spaces that take advantage of the natural levels undulation of the land. Thus, the bedrooms were projected on two floors to thereby provide greater independence between the activities of parents and adolescents. Halfway between these places of rest was raised near family reunion, glazed sides looking over the distant views to the nearby forest and the countryside’s own lot. All the rooms in contact with the ground by extending the outside decks at different heights related to each other with a ladder.

Interior View (Images Courtesy Gustavo Sosa Pinilla)

The functional organization
Access to the main floor of the house saving a slope by a concrete staircase. Once through the door from a small hall and observed the two flights of stairs, half-level up, the master bedroom with attached bath and a half level down to a double height space of semi-buried in the dune from which you access the general bathroom and bedroom cabins. From these you can also go to a semi-sunken courtyard that serves as the expansion of the same but mostly it is used as a resource for the indefinite closure of one side and thus are also integrated into the landscape. The entrance floor is a unique space with height differences and concrete walls are defined places to eat and be cooking.

Interior View (Images Courtesy Gustavo Sosa Pinilla)

Construct
The housing is developed in a concrete and glass prism that highlights the different levels at which this resolved. For two beams that travel the longer sides are resolved as simple or inverted allowing different positions of the slab end. In the sector-dining room this is used to create the height difference not only functional but also sectorisations views of the treetops in the distance between slabs. H21 was used concrete with the addition of a fluidizing to this mixture with small amount of water when dried resulting from very compact and does not require sealing. The interior walls of hollow bricks are plastered and painted with white latex, floor cloths is divided by concrete screed plates of aluminum. The meeting between walls and the floor was resolved with a recessed aluminum profile way socket. The openings are of dark bronze anodized aluminum. The heating system, since there is no natural gas in the area, was resolved with a system that combines salamander, bottled gas stoves and electric stoves.

Furniture
Except the bed and the couches and chairs the rest of the equipment of this housing is fixed in concrete. Even the beds of sleeping cabins are perforated slabs cantilevered resolved.

Interior View (Images Courtesy Gustavo Sosa Pinilla)

Interior View (Images Courtesy Gustavo Sosa Pinilla)

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