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Besonias Almeida Arquitectos | House in Pilar | Besonias Almeida Arquitectos

House in Pilar

Location: Pilar, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina

Design and Project Management: María Victoria Besonías, Luciano Kruk

Land area: 600m2

Built area: 142m2

Construction year: 2006

María Victoria Besonías

The commitment
A friends, whom years ago we have projected a weekend house in Parque Leloir, ask us to provide them advice about buying a land in Club Pilar Country to make a house there.

The place
The land is characterized by the leafy vegetation, so we did agree with our friends in the choice of the place. Among the different properties we saw, we recommend one with a long line of coniferous in the front part, two blue cedars placed on the boundaries and a swimming pool. -The orientation of the land is: the back yard to the NO allowing the cedars cover the afternoon sun and the coniferous on the SE do not make shadow upon the house, the land is perfect – We said.

The program
Brief, as we know their way of living, they simply added that they wanted three bedrooms, a big living with a fireplace, an integrated dining room, a separated kitchen and a covered gallery that includes the grill. All these things in one floor if it was possible, the aesthetic-constructive requirements, after some classes in the study, were: -We don’t want concrete in sight, we prefer terminations more traditional, we want large windows that connect us with the landscape and a inclined roof trough which the light enters. About the budget, we must work with standard values and the construction can reach 140 m2.

The proposal
We suggested at the beginning a little change in the program: The third bedroom must be included to the living room as it would be useful occasionally. About the format, we ask them to let us create a different element from the inclined roof, of course, without avoiding the light entrance.
We always start the projects as a new opportunity to develop our investigation in the theoretical and practical camp of the architecture, for this case (client, program, place and budget), we assumed proper keep on going in the issue of small courtyard in the house like we did in a previous work. It was really interesting the reached result in that opportunity, because the courtyards adds to the adjacent premises and gives them more spaciousness, a changing atmosphere because of the light effects and a view to the landscape from the most different angles of the house.
So we proposed a house resolved in one level like a simple prism, surrounded by the vegetation and perforated by a small courtyard, with a flat roof which rises in some parts to let the light comes in and make it more visible the presence of the landscape. The roof is continued in two lateral walls until touch the floor, separated three meters from the boundaries with few windows to avoid the views to the neighbours. Both the front part and the back part are resolved with alternating panels of glass and quebracho’s wood, trying the openings in the front part be guarded from the eyes of the neighbours. The quebracho, which has strong presence in the outside, is also the main element in the interior making a table that goes from one side to the other and it resolves: furniture, fireplace, gallery table and grill. This material was specially chosen to make contrast with its rusticity among the simple, pure and abstract lines of the rest of the house. The prism is placed in the land elevated approximately 20 cm and linked to the exterior areas (parking space, pool and solarium) with boards of quebracho buried in the grass.

The functional organization
The simple volume resolves the functions around the little courtyard and only the bedrooms and their bathrooms are reserved to the viewers.The kitchen is insinuated but it doesn’t appear and the gallery is incorporated like another ambient of the plant. It is accessed through an opening in the prism by a gate of the maximum height sly in a little panel of quebracho’s wooden.

The structural solution
The plant of 14 m x 10.80 m is covered by a concrete slab made of inverted beams in the whole perimeter that hide the subfloor and the waterproof membrane. This beam is placed on the SE, over a double masonry’s wall with an air camera and, on the NE , over a concrete wall with brackets which separate the roof and the wall allowing the entrance of light.

The construction
The exterior walls are revoked with covering of sand colour. The interior walls are made of air bricks revoked and painted with white latex. The ceiling is made of plaster applied painted in sand colour. The floor is made of wood in the bedrooms and in the common areas, and of glazed ceramic in the kitchen, gallery, courtyard and access. The bathrooms are coated with travertine marble and some details with mosaic tiles. The openings are made of dark bronze aluminium with air camera. The heat system is solved as radiant floor. The kitchen furniture is lacquered in white.

The opening’s treatment and the relationship with the light and the landscape
The opening’s position and size have, in our works, more relationship with the trim of the landscape (urban or natural) that is want to highlight, than with the role of facing composition that it’s used usually. So to begin this work, we study carefully in which places we must make openings to provoke viewers to be surprised while they pass trough the house, in some cases looking down, in others looking up trough little “cuts” or big windows. In relation with the artificial light, we try to stress the indefinite of the principal zone of the house with artefacts which allows changing the direction of the light and its intensity and put light in the “cut” through which the natural light enters in the day.