Concrete House in Mar Azul Forest by BAK Architects

January 22, 2010

BAK Architects designed this concrete house in the forest of Mar Azul in Argentina.

Full description after the photos….


Concrete House in Mar Azul Forest by BAK Architects

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, has 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 proposal
With the experience of a constructed house in the same landscape (Mar Azul House), with satisfactory results, allows us to perform and develop functional and aesthetics-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. Is located in a flat surface in the terrain who has 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 bordering lots 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 short side of the lot and the slope of the dune is oblique respect to the orthogonal one, the house appears halfed-bury in one of its angles and with their foundations exposed in the opposite one.

Of way so that the pure form contains the summer activities seems to emerge from the dune with two differentiates façades. The SW façade it is sunk in the sand with an opening that crosses it of end to end and whose height is accompanying the slope of the dune. In the other hand the NW façade it 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 at the observer changing sights while it’s moving.

The functional organization
It is a prototype plan. On the balcony façade the main ambiences one after one, are united by a deck. On the sunken façade, we find the bathrooms and the kitchen. In the end that goes “unearthing itself”, the dining room.

The house does not count 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 “paños fijos” that can be removed or be replaced by doors. 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 “ajardinar” the lot, 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 “es de paños de alisado de cemento divididos por planchuelas de aluminio”.  The join between walls and floor were 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 in the zone does not exist, was solved with a wood burning stove that acclimatize the meeting place, the first dormitory and the corridor. The main dormitory and the baths are heated with electrical plates.  A special aesthetic system for a particular habitat of life.

Light treatment
Our objective was to assure the arrival of natural light to all rooms. Incorporating a light entrance above the concrete furniture who contains the wood burning stove. 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 shadows of the thin walls in the façade. The protection of light and visual from outside was resolved by blackout curtains.

They were specially designed for this house, were made recovering Canadian pines wood from packing motor boxes. The table is a concrete slab together to exterior wall.

Place: Mar Azul, Buenos Aires, Argetina
Architects: Maria Victoria Besonias, Guillermo de Almelda, Luciano Kruk.
Collaborator: Sebastian Indrl
Land area: 595,50 m2
Built area: 90 m2
Contruction year: 2006/2007

Photography by Gustavo Sosa Pinilla and Daniela Mac Adden

Visit the website of BAK Architects – here.