Orchid House / Andres Remy Arquitectos

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Architects: Andres Remy Arquitectos
Location: Pilar, Buenos Aires,
Project Team: Andrés Remy, Hernán Pardillos, Paula Mancini, Lucila Lopez, Julieta Rafel, Lilian Kandus, Coral Banegas
Site Area: 3,640 sqm
Project Area: 465 sqm
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Alejandro Peral

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The Orchid was a challenging project, committed by a young couple with two sons, enthusiastic about sustainable architecture. After consulting several architects, they gave the commission to Andrés Remy, who had investigated these concepts in New York at Rafael Viñoly’s Studio for four years.

Sustainability implies a lot of varieties, such as efficient and rational use of energy and water, natural ventilation and lighting, and low-environment-impact materials.

site plan
site plan

The house has the best orientation, possible thanks to the large lot.

The concept came from the client’s hobby, growing orchids. The house is based on the different parts of the orchid: the roots, the stem and the flower.

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sections 01
sections 01

The sun rays impact in the interior of each room, were also studied, to determine the optimal depth to place the windows. This gives a unique volumetric outcome to the project. Taking advantage of sun rays in winter increases the interior temperature up to a comfortable level. The design includes glazed volumes with good thermal insulation and small windows in the worst orientation, such as the south facade.

The windows consist of aluminum frames supplied with thermal bridge breaker and double-hermetic-glass. A wide variety of insulating materials were also used, as well as water based paint and wall and roof air chambers.

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In the lower floor, the convenient location of the opening windows allows natural air flow helping to decrease the humidity in the room. What’s more, the big thresholds create a good distribution of fresh air.

All this, gives account of the complexity of the house, a glass and flower, designed according to a program of needs and the client’s concerns.

Cite: "Orchid House / Andres Remy Arquitectos" 26 Nov 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 02 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=42015>

22 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Dear Andres:

    Sustainable are you sure? is just sustainable about the right orientation, water energy an other components you mentioned. Well i guess you try to described what it would be an efficient architecture, but based on your architecture drawing that might represent your design process and thoughts, are very disappointing i guess they were very successful to convince your client about your product but i believe the lack of ignorance make them believe that their house is an example of sustainable architecture. I guess they were more distracted with your superficial analogies about the orchid to base your design.
    No picture from the inside now architects are forgetting to conceive the space, that we are changing our speech into a fake sustentability……….

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +3

    Dear Carlos,
    Shut up.
    You can’t possibly criticise the sustainability credentials of this project based on the small amount of information provided.
    Keep your university student opinions to yourself.
    I suspect Andres Remy has built a lot more architecture than you ever will.
    And why is the analogy of an orchid any more or less valid than any other concept?
    Get a life.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    very interesting, reminds me the deconstructivist times….

    I hope the house have a good “old age”

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    sustainable? wasn’t that all about reducing surfaces, orientation of windows? in such a design sustainability will be achieved by an incredible large and expensive facade.

    sustainability and single family homes are two natural ennemies.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      “sustainability and single family homes are two natural ennemies [sic].”

      must be why there are thousands of examples of sustainable cultures in single-family dwellings over the history of humans.

      not saying this is or isn’t one–but don’t blame a building type for a systemic problem in modern real estate development.

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        over the history of humans? i am talking about the energy problems we are facing today. compared to an appartement building in a city a suburban single family house needs a lot more resources: more space, more installations whatever. it’s the living form with the biggest possible footprint.

        not that i’ve got too much of a problem with that. just don’t call a single family house sustainable. my appartment in the city shelters 4 persons on half the space as the single family home i’ve build recently for two persons. even though our appartement building was done in 1919 and the single family hous is equipped with solar panels and geothermic heating i am better of sustainable wise..

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The architects are not good, since they don´t think embedded.
    Burle Marx would turn in his grave.
    A good architecture is NOTHING without a landscape master.

    While the architecture is good, it gets crippled by the unsatisfactory pool and surrounding.

    Missed chance ;-((

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    “The sun rays impact in the interior of each room…” Why are there no interior photos of this house?

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    - sustentabilidad???
    - buena implantacion.
    - invendible.
    - me gusta la morfologia, bastante jugada para argentina, bien por el cliente que se arriesga.
    - me mata el caminito de caperucita roja del estacionamiento a la puerta de entrada. yo hubiese puesto rodajas de tronco :), un chiste de onda. si lo ve viñoly se muere.
    - me gusta, felicitaciones.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Could you tell me who has Orchid House CAD, could you tell me, thank you for, I am a student to do the Orchid House models, and once again, thank you very much for help

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