LocationSan José del Rincón, Argentina
Project Area195.0 m2
Project TeamEduardo Navarro, Miguel A. Irigoyen, Luciana Viñuela, Ailén Labuckas, Ignacio Irigoyen
Site SupervisionDiego Exequiel Busaniche
Text description provided by the architects. The project is located on a lot 20 by 40 meters, with excellent views to the rear lagoon of the Ubajay Yacht Club. In the last third of its depth, it has a level difference of three meters towards the floodplain.
The adjoining buildings had two unfavorable situations for the project: to the west. a house that mistakenly invades almost a meter, exactly in the middle of the lot, and eastward a service area, somewhat degraded, housed almost to the party wall. We considered the existing trees, especially three pines at the start of the slope towards the pond, a jacaranda on one side and medium-sized tipa in front.
The land is virtually unique in the region, as part of a typical bank of the coastal system of Paraná River in Santa Fe, but at a safe altitude, i.e. in a non floodplain according to known records. Also, while the place belongs to a private neighborhood, there were some dilemmas as to how to solve a frank contact with the natural landscape without loss of privacy. Somehow the idyllic world of "countries" inevitably also faces the tension between the open and closed, the transparent and the opaque, or privacy and exposure.
The preponderance of the landscape constituted the basis from which to explore the dialectic relationship between nature and culture, understanding that each opportunity is an occasion to rethink and conceive architecture in this context, here and now... Rethinking should also include certain typological speculations that would consider all the variables, limitations, and conditions of the site.
This way, the configuration of the volumes and their links procured to stay away from stereotypes and preconceived ideas, so fashionable lately, to recognize the place and solve its spatial organization exclusively from the existing trees, the party walls, the landscape and the topography. This results in a project with contrasts, like the two sides of a coin, that doesn't hide, and even exacerbates, the tensions that still exist in these urban/suburban localities.
The project is structured through two volumes on the ground floor and one on the upper floor. The first two are offset longitudinally, one to the street and the other to the lagoon. One houses services and a bedroom for the daughters, it establishes a visual barrier to the party wall and frees up the pine area. The other contains the social areas and approaches the rear boundary to introduce the landscape into the house. It also allows to elude the invasion of the other party wall and keeps the jacaranda. A small area between both generates the main access.
Perpendicularly to these is the upper level, a box with opaque sides that concludes the resolution of privacy intended, closed to the sides.
To the street, a wall extends and overhangs to delimit an access courtyard and to close, at least partially, the views to the interior of the house. The use of minimal openings on the entirety of the facade contributes to this. In contrast, even sacrificing the best sunlight, at the back the project opens entirely to the landscape, extending as much as possible through an expansion comprised by a deck that cantilevers over the slope.
We used few materials - concrete, white finishes, wood, glass, and aluminum - and the exposed structure acquires relevance in the spatial and expressive configuration of the whole. In short, the project intends to denote its contemporary character without overlooking, in the first place, those permanent preoccupations of architecture: a place, a time, material, weather, and a specific way of inhabiting it.