Architects: Arzubialde Arquitectos
Location: Rosario, Santa Fe Province, Argentina
Design Team: Baulíes Santiago, Cabezudo Martín, Piccini Franco
Area: 604.45 sqm
Photographs: Walter G. Salcedo
Structural Design: Héctor Solís, Alicia Cinalli
Electrical Installation: Gustavo Begue, Hernán Martínez Prieto
Ironwork: Miguel Acuña
Building Services: Marcelo Sorbara
Pasaje Middleton, a narrow alleyway in the center of the city of Rosario, is the site of our small apartment building. The ground floor is designed for parking, and six two-bedroom apartments are distributed in first, second and third floors.
The volume was shaped during an abrupt and very short design process, during which the commission suffered some substantial alterations: an area on the ground floor intended for retail became parking, and a commission for four apartments became one for six. The search for the best orientations and the building code (minimum distance from property line beginning at a certain height, minimum courtyard area) were taken into account.
In order to achieve an open ground plan as versatile as possible, the structure on the ground floor was designed with reinforced concrete beams and steel columns.
The remaining floors were designed with load bearing, hollow brick masonry, comprised of bricks 18x18x33 centimeters. This design avoided formwork, concrete pouring and curing for an independent structure, which reduced the construction runtime.
The tiles used as wall coverings are a consequence of this decision; to work with load bearing ceramic bricks, a technique which requires a finish.
The finish is thus presented as an experiment in itself. It responds to three variables:
- To offer a texture to the surface
- To give color to the volume
- To solve these variables with a material that contains color in its mass, to avoid maintenance.