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.
BA House in Buenos Aires, Argentina by BAKarquitectos
June 15th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: BAKarquitectos
This is a field in a small condominium of 16 lots located in an area of the Buenos Aires Province, traditionally of farms, that with the trace of the Western Highway has been gradually transforming into a permanent housing place. Located in front of the grounds of the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA), this location has long-term guarantee to continue maintaining a privileged position in their quality of life and landscape value.
A house to be used as permanent housing for the Architects Besonías and Almeida, bringing as essential condition, solving the security issues of it, in that remote place and with few permanent inhabitants. This difficulty is compounded by the fact that they would be among the first neighbors to inhabit the small condominium. Of course, the issue of secure closure had to be solved without resenting the internal-external integration, undeniable theme in all the works of the study. The other issue to consider was the flexibility of use because, although it would only be inhabited by the couple, it had to be prepared to receive many visitors and occasionally host their sons. Finally, the condition was that the house must develop itself entirely in ground floor.
Reversing an alleged negative condition specific of this assignment and turning it into a solutions search engine that won’t waste the potential that this problem entails, was a decision that led the designers to propose a house which extends up to the party walls to have only two vulnerable fronts. In this way, the two facades of nearly 14 m long became essential elements of this project. Of this first decision and the need to solve the project on ground floor comes almost naturally the proposal of creating interior courtyards to get natural light and allow cross ventilation in all areas of use.
Then it was proposed a resolved home in a plant divided into 12 space modules (four of front and three of deep) of 3.30 m side. Two of them are empty and are proposed as small interior courtyards with the vegetation as protagonist in one of them, and the water in the other. These roofless spaces are added to the adjoining sites, providing a feeling of more amplitude and a changing atmosphere by the effects of the light coming through them and the contemplation of life that develops there. They also offer a cut of the sky and surrounding landscape from the most diverse corners of the plant.
The front facade was projected as a plane composed of stacked pieces of quebracho wood, that gives privacy to the rooms that are placed at the before mentioned front, in addition to solving the sealing of the house. Toward the back, the chosen system to give security to the house should be of quick operation and affordable cost. The proposal was then, a roller metal curtain that when it is opened, it is completely hidden inside inverted beams of the roof and that is activated by pressing a key.
The access to the two doors is by a partially covered area. The front door opens to a single space, with the water courtyard and the green courtyard as main characters. There, can be developed the meeting activities in a flexible way, only determined by its equipment. On one side of this space, and protected from the views behind a hanging partition, are the bedrooms and bathrooms; on the other side are the service entry, the kitchen (which is barely hinted across the courtyard green) and the laundry.
In the background, the different activities of the house are extended in a partially covered area that goes from one boundary of the property to the other, making very indefinite the limits between inside and outside. The house is linked to the pool through a solarium; the rest of the lot is free to begin to be occupied by the planned greenery.
The Structural Solution
The Construction Work
In the rest of the house reinforced concrete, the exclusive character, was left exposed without any surface treatment, except in the two boundaries of the property by their exposure to the weather, it was considered necessary to apply a coating of MDF boards on the inside, veneered on guatambú wood, with an air chamber to solve the thermal insulation. There are only three masonry internal partitions around the bathrooms to resolve the plumbing. Floors, both indoors and outdoors, are of smooth cement wipes, separated by plates of stainless steel. The bathrooms and kitchen counters are concrete slabs with smooth surface and protected by a lacquer. The openings are of dark bronze anodized aluminum with glass with air chamber. The heating is by underfloor. The kitchen furniture and all the doors of the different storage sites are made of MDF plates, veneered with guatambú wood.