Location: Mar Azul forest, department of Villa Gesell, Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Architects: María Victoria Besonías
Collaborator: Arch. Leandro Pomies
Photography: Gustavo Sosa Pinilla
Land area: 600 m²
Built area: 149 m²
Construction Year: 2009
Recognizing and seizing the particular maritime-forest microclimate together with the low budget available and with the requirement of a minimum posterior maintenance were determinant in the decision of the esthetic-constructive system of the house. The need to capture the light that passes through the trees led us to conceive the house as a “semicovered” and resolve it with big windows that provide long hours of natural light and full integration with the scenery, while from the outside, the windows reflect the privileged landscape creating a house with less presence. The conditions previously named and the need of accelerating the constructive stages, made us choose the exposed concrete as the main material. The shadow of the forest allows us to use this material since it provides the sufficient thermal insulation. The thermal conditioning of the house in winter didn’t matter much because it’s supposed to be used in summer; however, we foresaw a heating system. The water resistant insulation was resolved by using a very compact concrete and studying the shape of the outer-skin in order to reach a faster water drainage. On the other hand, the color and texture of the exposed concrete made by wood tables have a strong and mimetic presence, so the work is in harmony with the landscape. Briefly, an outer skin made only by two materials -concrete and glass- resolves the integration with the landscape and the formal, structural and functional issues apart from the facades and the maintenance.
The place: The lot about 20m x 30m where we had to work was too forested with maritime pines. The land presents its front part higher compared with the street level; even though it means a difficult access to the lot, the elevated house avoids the views from the street and allows obtaining views to the landscape over the neighbor’s constructions. In addition to the different levels, the land presents a diagonal slope from the back to the front part of the lot of 3.00 mts.
The commission: The particularity of this engagement was that, although the requirement was of two bedrooms and their respective bathrooms, the social area had to be large enough with the possibility of being adapted to different uses as they frequently receive many friends. The kitchen had to be integrated to the social area and finally it was especially specified that they wanted generous outdoor expansions.
The proposal: The particular relief of the land, the privacy reached with the elevation of the front part of the lot, the view to the forest free of nearby constructions and what the original program required, were the issues that make this house unique among the other houses that the study has built in Mar Azul. We conceived the house like two pure prisms, placed in a clearing among the trees. The volumes are crossed perpendicularly and in mid levels. The strong slope of the land was exploited to hide part of the program, reducing in this way the presence of the built volume. With this volumetric arrangement we endowed the house with all the required places without loosing an independent use of each one. All the areas of the social area are linked by generous windows and outdoor terraces made by wood decks while the principal bedroom has its own terrace under roof.