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.
First of May Neighborhood in Santa Fe, Argentina by CBAyA
June 25th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: CBAyA
Contemporary cities are shaped as the result of the tension between the will of the state, (theoretically) representative of citizens, and the Market. The struggle between these actors has conditioned, for better or worse, the urban image and even more importantly the lives of all inhabitants. This conditional relationship on a macro scale can be read in the micro scale as well, in each of the buildings that make up the urban scene.
Every building sets up an ecosystem in which, from its conception as a property interest to its materialization as a habitat for people, there coexists interests which are determined, on the one hand, by a side which is lucrative for the promoters, and on the other hand, by the comfort and quality of life of its inhabitants. This equation defines a product where it seems that the desire for greater financial gain for the promoter, is inversely proportional to the level of life of future residents.
In our case, from the point of view of architects-promoters, this provides us with the possibility to place our selves on both sides of the equation.From this position, we intend to bring the intrinsic characteristics of the urban scale necessary to create a better environment for its inhabitants, within the ‘private’ sphere of an apartment building.The dynamics of cohabitation in the neighborhoodtranslates, weather we like it or not, into the building, and its up to us, us architects and builders of these micro urban realities to emphasize or ignore them. From this, we prefer to think of this project not as an apartment building, or a set of units, but as a vertical neighborhood.
This project is part of a long line of endeavors in which we have try to verify to a greater or lesser extentthese issues. Fundamentally, in regard to the configuration of the common spaces that, such as it occurs in the city,represent the area which belongs to no one and at the same time belongs to everyone. These spaces are underrated from a real estate perspective which considers them to be “non saleable”. Often they are extremely dark places, deprived of natural light, ventilation and view. As opposed to this, we took as an unavoidable premise, thegeneration ofwide-open common spaceswhich, while still being efficient from the promoter’s point of viewreproduce the main features of any city sidewalk.These public living spaces promote afuller community life.
The combination of two different kinds of standard floor plans, in quantity and location at different heights generates formal variables that seek to adapt to the changes that every investment project suffers. Both flooroptions are formed around a central void, which in either case opens to the front, the side, or the backallowing views to different points on each level and ventilating the whole from within. By locating in that central space, vertical and horizontal circulations, we are looking to replacethe typical closed and dark core, with a space that is integrated in multiple directions, and allows different parts of the city to peek into the internal structure of this building which aspires to become a neighborhood.