Author Architectes: SML Arquitectos (Juan Sebastián Lama-Felipe Moreno-Franco Somigli), TRI-Arquitectura (Michel Carles- Carlos Mardones- Pablo Valdivia)
Text description provided by the architects. The Piacenza Building arises from a commission to design a multi-residential building on a small site designated for medium rise development. Constructions from 7 to 10 storeys surround the site, however, given the site area, we were only allowed to develop five storeys and a sixth floor with larger setbacks on the sides.
The challenge of the project resides in how to turn this apparent disadvantage into a mark of distinction. We proposed the design to be in explicit contrast to the surrounding buildings, typically tall, bulky, and having a typical residential apartment building character. Our proposal suggests a small scale, low density, and using materials such as exposed in situ concrete and expanded metal sheets on the outside. Thus, the building looks more appropriate for the site yet also unique, standing out among its surrounding. Regulatory constraints are clearly evident in its simple and pure geometry, and the upper level is planned as an overlaid black box to the lower concrete volume, while, towards the street, the terraces are designed as thin slabs cantilevered over the front yard.
The access to the building is through a path flanked by a planter walled landscape open to the public space and next to an illuminated wall. This wall is coated with expanded metal sheets, which casts a dim and vibrant light over the entire facade on the ground level.
Once inside, a foyer with a reception table, clad in cedar, leads towards the community spaces on the ground floor and to the upper levels of the building.
There are 32 apartments with different typologies, ranges from two bedroom duplexes to larger apartments opening to private backyards on the ground floor.
On the top floor, a common area is provided with barbecue facility and a ‘lookout pool’.
Overall, the Piacenza building shows that it is possible to develop a project that meets the strict rules and parameters of multi-storey residential buildings, and also provides a new solution which makes the project stand out from the typical built form.