Abasto Ancho is a building with ten residential units and one storefront. It is located at the corner of Sarmiento and Anchorena streets in the Abasto section of Buenos Aires. The project was developed according to the city’s building and planning codes and regulations and conditioned by the norms of the real estate market. First, the project was developed, then the units sold, and finally the building constructed with financing from the sales at construction phase in a modality common in Argentina. The uncertainly resulting from not knowing the building’s final users at the design phase was envisioned as an opportunity to experiment with ways of organizing collective housing. To that end, three lines of architectural research were pursued: the Abasto neighborhood and its relationship to the materialization of the building’s façade-envelope; the configuration of the residential units such that variability could be systemized; and the layout of the building’s common spaces in order to encourage sociability. Those three lines, each of which corresponds to an instance in the building’s architecture, could be called Abasto, TetrisHomes, and Branching Spaces respectively.
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