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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.

CASA XS in Buenos Aires, Argentina by BAK Arquitectos

 
May 8th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: BAK Arquitectos

Site

Mar Azul is a seaside resort 400 km south of Buenos Aires, with an extensive beach of dunes and lush virgin forest of conifers. The land is part of the forest has the distinction of being very narrow and long and having a surface slope almost 5 meters before the baseline. From that point the dune has a sharp depression of low vegetation cover (acacia) but no pines. So looking from the lot to that area, conifers of the terrain is clear cut in this very special evening when the sun is going down and horizontally through the trees. This uniqueness makes this undoubtedly the most privileged view.

CASA XS

  • Architects: BAK Arquitectos
  • Project: CASA XS
  • Location: Mar Azul, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Project Architect: Maria Victoria Besonias, Guillermo de Almeida, Luciano Kruk.
  • Contributor: Sebastian Indri
  • Land area: 475 m2
  • Constructed area: 52 m2
  • Year built: 2007

CASA XS

The commission
Conform to the aesthetic constructive solution proposed by the study for other holiday homes in the area, customers only conditioned the project from the surface to build: the house could not exceed 50m2 with semicubiertos included and should be allowed provided the growth of a bedroom on the second stage undetermined time.

CASA XS

The proposal
The fact that we have experienced in building functional and aesthetic issues in this particular atmosphere, the maritime forest with other works recently built and have been highly successful, allowed at this time, putting emphasis on perfecting the system experienced and resolve your adaptation to this program at least in a narrow adjoining land with a house on your right side and a large property, by lot, on the opposite.

CASA XS

The search for alternatives should, as in other experiments, but still have few insurmountable limitations: basically have very little impact on the landscape, which is set to a low budget and subsequent maintenance was almost nil and that the construction time shorten as much as possible and that monitoring would be done away.

With these premises, the house was settled as a concrete prism elongated proportion of minimum height, separated from both boundaries located a clear advantage in the field and a determined search for views of the particularity of the landscape described. A large window extends the small living room in their expansion partially covered allowing views to the landscape and the reflection of it from outside. The longer sides have openings tightly controlled to avoid such close views to and from the neighboring houses. These were resolved piercing the wall exposed concrete made with pine boards placed vertically in some cases to allow for openings occur randomly throughout the height and width of one or two shuttering boards. Towards the front opening of the prism is placed side by side at a height that does not compromise the privacy of the single bedroom of the house. The fact that we decided that three sides of the prism were made very tight to think of other material besides the exposed concrete to solve, so that the image was not too dull or inappropriate for a single house. The material chosen for its aesthetic quality, but mostly for lack of maintenance, was quebracho wood boards used to form a low wall in the bedroom and to solve a gate, that although this appears disproportionate for small housing aims at highlighting the unique access and gesture in a facade with very few formal resources.

CASA XS

The functional organization
You enter through the “disproportionate” gate to a small hall along with bathroom and cooking area to divide the prism into two distinct functions: the bedroom and the living and dining room. The latter environment is maintained for expansion on a deck covered with a generous hood to the bottom and an open deck for outdoor dining on the left side, near the kitchen area
The outdoor activities are not intended to be specific for functional reasons, it is the topography itself which is defining the place to leave the car, or to locate the grill. He has advised clients not landscaping the lot to maintain quality of the natural landscape also presents the advantage of requiring no maintenance other than the removal of the pine trees they dry.

CASA XS

The constructive solution

The floor of the house of 4.00 mx 12.00 m is covered by a reinforced concrete slab to the view that rests in the side walls with an overhang of 2.00 m supported by an inverted beam crosses the kitchen-dining room and reinforcement in the slab that collaborate with it.

The interior walls are plastered and painted bricks 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 stove and electric heaters.

CASA XS

A constructive aesthetic system for a particular habitat
The experiments mentioned in the opening paragraphs of memory is related to the routine use of the house at times warm and temperate microclimate in the maritime forest (shade, little wind) makes feasible the construction of low-cost solution and rapid implementation of a concrete enclosure at a hearing without supplements to improve thermal insulation and waterproof. For this we used a concrete with the addition of a plasticizer which optimizes a mixture with low quantity of water during setting is of great compactness. Thanks to this procedure, the cover can be solved without subfloor slope and waterproof membrane, the slab is made simply from the start with enough overhang to allow free drainage of rainwater into the four sides. Furthermore, the expressive quality of concrete and its resistance and impermeability, make unnecessary any type of surface finish, achieving also a low cost of implementation at the ends and unnecessary future maintenance since the exterior and interior walls of concrete requirieren seen only as finishing a hand sanding to remove the adhesions own execution. On the other hand the color and texture of concrete made with formwork boards is a forceful presence and discreet at once, allowing the work to be expressed in harmony with the forest. Finally the choice of quebracho wood ensures aging of this material that will be mimicking the bark of trees constructive safe because of its hardness and stability.

CASA XS

The light treatment
Knowing the ambient atmosphere generated by the forest, it was essential to ensure a generous arrival of light at all locations. As reinforcement for the illumination from the various openings of the perimeter is thought to incorporate an overhead light input across the width of the prism to the height of the bath (as this is internal) and the access. With this objective was designed to coincide with an allowance caladura containing the sink, extending both in the corridor leading to the bedroom and the foyer and it produces as well as multiple “cuts” in the side walls, lighting effects that vary with the passage of the day.

CASA XS

CASA XS

CASA XS

CASA XS

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