View House / Johnston MarkLee & Diego Arraigada Arquitecto

© Gustavo Frittegotto
© Gustavo Frittegotto

Location: Rosario, Argentina
Architects: Johnston MarkLee & Diego Arraigada Arquitecto
Principals-in-Charge: Mark Lee,
Project Architect: Sharon Johnston AIA
Project Team: Juliana Esposito, Jeff Adams, Pablo Gamba, Nazarena Infante, Nadia Carassai, Anne Rosenberg, Anton Schneider
Project: 2004-2005
Construction: 2006-2009
Site Area: 2113 m2
Interior Area: 297 m2
Total Built Area: 361 m2
Developer: Lucas Ma (President, Markee LLC)
Structural Engineer: Ing Gonzalo Garibay
General Contractor: MECSA, Ing Gustavo Micheletti
Materials: Exposed , Anodized Aluminum, Plaster, Polished , Polished Terrazzo, Lapacho Hardwood
Photographs: Gustavo Frittegotto

Diagram
Diagram

The View House is designed under conditions generated by both the potential and limitations of large suburban developments. Situated near Rosario on the vast landscape of the Argentine plains, the 3200 sq foot house occupies a 22,750 sq foot parcel. The design is driven by two conflicting desires: engaging the living experience of the house with the views of the surrounding landscape and preserving privacy from neighbors.

Views collage
Views collage

Planning demands and the unique position of the peripheral corner lot demanded a specific approach to the massing of the house and its engagement with the landscape. A compact massing strategy with a minimal footprint liberates and preserves the ground, defining a two story structure. By denying the traditional front, side, and rear yard designations, and instead intensifying the facade as a surface that continuously modulates the relationship of interior to exterior, the perception of the house unfolds through a sequence of oblique views where every surface of façade becomes primary.

Construction diagram
Construction diagram

The formal and tectonic complexity of the house results from the repetition of four basic geometric subtractions from a primitive mass that create a dynamic exterior shape perceived simultaneously as embedded and lofted, cantilevered and slumped. In the interior, these operations define a continuous and modulated space that spirals upwards from the ground level to the roof terrace in a sequence of living areas. The four geometric subtractions have differentiated volumetric impressions on the inside of the house, each of which, together with a contiguous aperture, results in an interior landscape of paired surfaces, views, and lighting effects.

© Gustavo Frittegotto
© Gustavo Frittegotto
© Gustavo Frittegotto
© Gustavo Frittegotto

The rotational strategy for the apertures results from the framing of desirable landscape features, the anticipation of neighboring developments and the choreography of internal circulation. The reduction of electric and HVAC demands by facilitating cross ventilation and natural light have also been taken into consideration. Varying in height, orientation, and depth, each framed opening captures a distinct view, providing alternating relationships between interior and exterior. The layering of subtractions and apertures also relates to the tectonic demands of the overall concrete shell. As a culmination of the internal circulation along a path of 360º, a flight of steps leads up to a panoramic roof deck, from which the expansive surrounding landscape can be perceived from a new height.

© Gustavo Frittegotto
© Gustavo Frittegotto
© Gustavo Frittegotto
© Gustavo Frittegotto

The rough concrete shell of the house was built using traditional local techniques and its form and finish retain the impression of the means and methods of its construction. In contrast, the interior of the house is smooth and polished in nature. Lightly hued terrazzo floors on the first floor are distinguished from the smooth plaster walls only by a degree of reflectivity and polish. The black window frames punctuate the views and define a contrast with the white interior atmosphere. In more intimate, private spaces, Lapacho wood covers the floors creating a new contrast with the walls and ceilings.

Cite: "View House / Johnston MarkLee & Diego Arraigada Arquitecto" 16 Sep 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 Jul 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=35398>

20 comments

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      could you elaborate on why you believe that it is “insensitive to the humanistic aspect of living”?

  1. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Incredibly sculptural and fantastic, I specially like the presentation diagrams where you can see the evolution of the design. The finished house seems to invite admiration and touch, in a sexy surrounding sort of way. Wonderful.

    • Thumb up Thumb down -1

      Macho, hay muchas casas en Argentina. En la plata tenes una de un tal Corbu. te suena? o de un tal Amancio Williams etc etc.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Once more a “modern” house with a tiny “maids room” without window and bathroom. I don’t think that is either cool nor fantastic.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      I agree! If that tiny room with a bed signature is meant to house a human being, it diminishes an otherwise fantastic house. Lack of empathy does not fit with good architecture…however beautiful the design may be.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    que bonita!!! unen líneas rectas con curvas de una forma increible, sublime, creando espacios deliciosos.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The form, with those heavy-handed curves, is very clumsy. This project would be so much better if it just stuck to right angles. Still, some very nice details..

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