Between Yards / XXeStudio

  • 19 Mar 2013
  • Houses Selected Works
© Alberto Moreno

Location: Villa del Rosario, Norte de Santander,
Architect In Charge: Balmor Pereira
Design Team: Rafael Suarez, Lina Quintero
Structure: HMS Constructores
Area: 412 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Alberto Moreno, Fabián Mena, Pedro Ballesteros

© Fabián Mena

…between yards… placed at the frontier valley between the cool breezes of the river Pamplonita and the thermal ones of the river Táchira coming from the Andean-Venezuelan region; the place is a meadow of north-south extension where nature still has a nuance between its wildest condition and the sugar cane fields, giving rise to the entrepreneurship Hacienda Los Trapiches II, named in remembrance of the panela production in the area.

© Fabián Mena

An array of relations with a geometrical rigor of two and its multiples, produces a new domestic arithmetic, in which the separation of served and servant spaces occurs through a flux collector; an organization principle that makes explicit the existence of two sides facing each other as follows: [kitchen – neutral zone], [service - auxiliary bedrooms] and [study - main bedroom], forming this way the inhabiting strip. This way, obtaining the three remaining strips as a general residue, an urban one [sidewalk], an exterior one [infrastructure] and a subsequent one as extension [of public space].

© Pedro Ballesteros

Redefine the relationship between yards is an attempt to create seven conceptual layers of the house. The outdoor yard is proposed as an exchange yard, a sort of information collector about the outside world [infrastructure], the subsequent yard is presented as a public extension of the house [public space], the five remaining yards distributed in the central area, illuminate from above and are presented as part of the outdoors internal space, operating as mandatory pass flow channelers and imposing its presence over the one of the box [black boxes].

© Alberto Moreno

The geometry is the result of the need to optimize the living surface to a single floor and around the seven yards. At the same time, the almost arithmetic strict modulation enhances the rigor of the floor and neutralizes the visual impact of the box against its immediate environment.

© Pedro Ballesteros

The total height of 3.30 meters corresponds to the intention of producing some sort of…horizontal symmetry… through which it could be seen that the house breaks with prevailing male standards in its surroundings due to the location of the horizon line being just in the middle, at about 1.65 meters height. The floor, assumed as the inner roof plane that has its same materiality and color, reinforces the fact that the box, dominated by its horizontality, imposes itself breaking the vertical plane surrounding to be displayed as a feminine house.

© Fabián Mena

Emulating the wine glass [form - structure - container], the aspects are merged into a box as a single piece, in which the spaces materialize by the sequence of horizontal and vertical planes. At the extremes, the slab is supported by slender steel columns arranged with geometric rigor within a modulated array of 2 x 2 meters, containing seven interior partitions which have no structural function [therefore removable] and embodying the concrete piece.

© Fabián Mena

The material is given by an exposed concrete box, inside which the separation of vertical and horizontal planes is implied by fine lines. Seven yards partially drill the box from above, giving rise to the crystals which descend vertically from the interior of the slab until they get embedded in the ground. A subtle blend of wood and natural steel gives a tinge of nobility and brightness by contrasting with the concrete cave.

© Pedro Ballesteros

A box perforated by a constellation of north oriented voids, through which all the exchanges with the exterior environment, the entry of natural light, the climate control and the energy harvesting are made. The inclusion of outdoor nature is possible through all the voids now converted to yards.

…family member that “project-planning-in-the-making” I learned from the master … from putting together the things that Mies had…, simple self-imposed rules that show a clear intension in the doing: to join two materials it is required a third one; to join two flat levels it is required to dilate, the inability to use paints and the “grey work” is “white work”.

© Fabián Mena

When viewed as a one level box, pierced by five yards and with multiple visual perspectives that cut across, the experience of the interior space is always in relation to the surrounding yards; its depth nuanced by the reflections on the glass becomes a fun game of false labyrinths. Outside, a neutral box transforms until it materialize itself as a fog container.

Cite: "Between Yards / XXeStudio" 19 Mar 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 18 Apr 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    to travel between your project ….. very interesting. Se nos volvio famoso homeee!!! saludos Balmoreins Exitos!!

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Excelente obra, de un ingenioso Nortesantandereano. FELICITACIONES. Que el mundo te reconozca y admire.

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