The shape of the cement parallelepiped with the covering plate resting on two parallel walls and only a few internal supporting elements, letting sunlight burst into the interior, is a prototype of a type of home which BAK has experimented with in Argentinian residential architecture: an architectural archetype which minimises use of materials, not only as an aesthetic solution but as an ethical principle. As well as its economic benefits during construction, cement has a particular aesthetic of its own which has been much appreciated in South America since the days of Niemeyer; enhanced by the impression of the wooden formworks, cement has the expressiveness of an elegant form of brutalism which requires no additional surface finishes.
Bak applies the creative freshness underlying the “first-time vision” with the aim of constructing a building which “grows” directly out of the earth itself. And so the facade continues to provide shelter to the north, with a series of cement slabs supporting the roof at its end and breaking up the light, following the vertical line of the conifers and blending right into the forest.
Inside, the walls dividing the living area from the two bedrooms end 70 cm from the continuous façade to the north, leaving a visual corridor crossing right through all the rooms to create the sensation that one is in a single unified space, with the beautiful panoramas typical of a glass house. The need for privacy is met by large curtains on rails, closing off spaces inside the home and shutting off the windows along the entire height of the northern wall. Here a patio extends outside, a cement platform covered with wooden boards built right around a young pine tree so that it now grows right through the patio floor.
Design: Maria Victoria Besonias, Guillermo de Almeida, Luciano Kruk (BAK arquitectos)
Location: Mar Azul, Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Total usable floor space: 90 m2
Lot size: 596 m2
Project start date: 2006
Completion of construction: 2007
Anodised aluminium window frames
Photographs: © Daniela Mac Adden, Gustavo Sosa Pinilla