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M30HOUSE in Cartago, Costa Rica by ARCHITECT SILVIA GONZALEZ
May 1st, 2015 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: ARCHITECT SILVIA GONZALEZ
M30 House is located in Cartago, Costa Rica, it was conceived in 2012 as a low cost housing solution for a young couple in order to have a profitable and accessible house with a great design.
The house, located in an irregular terrain, is composed of two 40′ shipping containers set together in L shape with a glass box joining both containers and clerestory windows all over the house.
This project of approximately 130 sqm,accommodates 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room and an office, the glass box that joins them was built with concrete slab for flooring, glass walls as a vertical enclosure and metal as a support structure in which the living room and the deck are located; the glass doors of the living room, opens onto the terrace, allowing a feeling of spaciousness, taking advantage of the scenery offered the property and incorporating the interior and exterior spaces as one.
The design avoids circulation and halls in order to optimize and integrate spaces that can interact between them.
The residence is located in a hilly terrain of 7000m2, so the design contemplated low landscape interventions, in order to respect the terrain original configuration, in order to achieve this, the house is sustained by a forest of concrete columns which raises the volume to take visual advantage of the whole 360 view the house offers. Because of its location, the house allows a view of the rising and setting sun at the same time it brings natural and cross – ventilation in all of its rooms.
Passive cooling is achieved by creating a cross ventilation system that maintains the spaces cool during the day; at the same time floor to ceiling windows allows sunlight to be trapped during day, making the spaces are comfortable overnight.
An essential part of the design was the optimization of all resources, which is why the architect sought to preserve the original wooden floor of the container, polishing and keeping it as original as possible to create a reminisce of the original floor condition as an architectural detail. Additionally the main door of the house and the annexes volumes to the main structure of the container were built with the metal waste that was removed to make the windows in order to recycle all materials as possible.
To extend the length of the house, the architect proposed to open the doors of both containers, creating an additional area of 2.5 sqm in each container to optimize space and include some areas as: master bedroom shower on one container and an office on the other container.
With its completion the project achieves the design goals, turning this project as an economic home of $63,000, becoming a complete, optimized, functional space that demonstrates that alternative construction methods and materials work as well or better than traditional construction methods.
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