Two houses conde

/ Residential

2011-12

Buenos Aires, Argentina
Project Team

Construction documents:
Arch. Ruben Ruiz
Arch. Leonardo G. Militello

Construction administration:
Arch. Fernando Hitzig

Program

Multifamily houses

Area

Ground floor, first & second floor: 300 m2
Exterior: 182 m2

Suppliers

HM Architecs

Photography

Federico Kulekdjian

Services

CD

Concept & Schematic design

HMA Architects

DD

Design development

HMA Architects

DD

Construction documents

HMA Architects

CA

Construction Administration

HMA Architects

Abstract

Connections From the beginning this project had to answer to two different voices, or two customers. Both required the same amount of square meters for their future homes. Perhaps the greatest achievement of this project was understanding how to complete the entire buildable volume equally for both owners without them losing the ability to access almost all of the lot size in width and length. The strategy chosen for this purpose was to criss cross the meters that corresponded to each of them so that both units rotated through the axis of the central courtyard in a centrifuge-like manner. To criss cross both properties it was decided to use stairs that functioned as sleeve-like bridges connecting both units. Volumes The shape of the building is the result of the completion of the maximum buildable potential volume allowed by the law of the city of Buenos Aires for this neighborhood. It is a shape reminiscent of Hugh Ferriss´ volumetric studies that were popularized back in 1920s Manhattan. Such was the effort to use all its meters that it was decidedto maintain two areas of the original property clearly exposed through its brick floors in the vault, allowing to actually use these spaces, something that the city law would not have allowed for that neighborhood. The new building also recalls the old spatial organization positioned over the old tracks of the old home courtyards, adapting the old layout of the ground floor to the two new homes. Property A (with a ground floor and two levels) has 4 rooms and property B (of the same height) has 5 rooms. Both properties are stepped, thus releasing terraces on both the front and the counter-front.

Operations empty To achieve the light denied by the volumetric walling that is so present in the project, the facades were operated upon by large gaps between forgings, and operation evidenced in the details of the beams, which led to the decision of doing the windows through the “French balconies” system. These gap operations were accompanied by a system of enclosures whose folds and textures sought to show a certain vertical tension continued throughout the development of both facades, thus striking a balance with the high volume of neutral walling of the whole. The inner courtyard that organizes the circulations in a centrifuge-like manner has a window system of a self-evident simplicity that gives way to the prominence of the multi-directional stairs. The greatest achievement of this project was adapting two houses whose volumetric ambition exceeded the capacity of the terrain, to the older original marks. This was achieved through a strategy of simple connections that would cover the whole site on both houses.