Concrete House by Besonias Almeida

Modern concrete retreat designed in 2007 by Besonias Almeida situated in a seaside town of Mar Azul, Argentina.

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Description by Besonias Almeida Mar Azul is a seaside town at 400km south of Buenos Aires, characterized for his large dune beach and his leafy coniferous forest. The owners, have chosen a field in the forest with a challenging topography, away from the sea and from the most lived zone, to construct a cottage without loosing the important presence of the landscape. The Prosal With the experience of a constructed house in the same landscape (Mar Azul House), with satisfactory results, allowed us to perform and develop functional and a esthetics-constructed issues in the next project, emphasizing to perform the selected system and resolve the location in the complex topography. In the moment to choose the construction alternatives we focus in a low budget, reduce impact in the landscape, minimum or none posterior maintenance and a short time of construction. Following this parameters the house was solved like a concrete prism of extended proportions and minimum height. It is located in a flat surface on a terrain with a strong diagonal slope (6m difference between opposite corners). This way, it is scarcely modified the section of dune and the views are not interrupted from the surrounding houses to the great landscape since a short term from immediate surroundings a ground will be appraised permanently (in fact the ceiling of the house) will be covered by dry foliage of the pines. The construction is located parallel to the short side of the piece of land and the slope of the dune is oblique respect to the orthogonal one, the house appears half-buried in one of its angles and with their foundations exposed in the opposite one. In that way, the pure form that contains the summer activities seems to emerge from the dune with two differentiates façades. The SW façade buried in the sand with an opening from the beginning to the end and whose height is accompanying the slope of the dune. In the other hand the NW façade is a curtain wall like a balcony that allows distant views but at the same time it is partially protected of the glances from the street by partition walls, that they vary its position and amount according to the atmosphere that they protect. The glasses reflect the landscape as well the house is observed from outside, they create and emphasize a series of vertical elements of much protagonism (true and reflected trees, true and reflected thin walls), that reduce importance of the strong horizontal presence of the prism. And offer different images of the house and the landscape to the people while they are moving. The functional organization: It is a prototype plan. On the balcony façade the main ambiences one after one, are joined by a deck. On the sunken façade, we find the bathrooms and the kitchen. In the end that goes “unburing itself”, the dining room. The house does not have a main entrance. It is a flexible construction that we can enter by anyone of other rooms. The “concrete furniture” defines the dormitories. These ones are 0.70m separated from the curtain wall façade through two glass walls that can be removed or replaced by doors in case it changes the use of the rooms. With this resource the rooms enlarge visually extending on the contiguous one and in any location of the house can be possible recomposed the totally of the façade . The place to park the car, the barbecue and the platform to sunbathe and refresh yourself and all the outer activities are determinate by the own topography of the place and not was organized by functional reasons. It has also been decided not to “decorate” the garden of the piece of land, to maintain the natural quality of the landscape. Construction Details It is decided for this new experience to eliminate the structural iron cross section to take to the limit the concept of null later maintenance. The plan of the house (6.90m x 14m) is a reinforced concrete slab that rest in the partition walls of the main façade. In the opposite side was resolved with a jutting out that makes possible an opening in all the extension without intermediate supports. The jutting out it is supported by three partitions walls that move of the line of the facade. The inner partition walls are of revoked hollow bricks and painted with white latex. The floor is made by concrete separated by aluminum. The union between walls and floor was solved with a “rehundido” aluminum cross section to the skirting board. The openings are of aluminum hard anodizing color dark bronze. The heating system, since natural gas does not exist in the zone, was solved with a wood burning stove that acclimatize the meeting place, the first dormitory and the corridor. The main bedroom and the baths are heated with electrical plates. Light Treatment Our objective was to assure the arrival of natural light to all rooms. It was incorporated a light entrance above the concrete furniture that contains the wood burning stove. Because of that, it was projected a slice on the ceiling that produce in the walls and also in the floor multiple luminance effects that varies along the day. The same happens to the changing shadows of the thin walls in the façade. The protection of light and visual from outside was resolved by blackout curtains. Furniture It was specially designed for this house, made by recovering Canadian pines wood from packing motor boxes. The table is a concrete slab joined to the exterior wall. Visit Besonias Almeida

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