La Costa Partido, Argentina – Estudio PKa
Built Area: 175.0 sqm
Year Built: 2014
Photographs: Alejandro Peral
L House derives its name from its shape – an L-shaped structure that offers the best of both worlds. It sits in an area surrounded by evergreen trees and shrubs with the sound of the sea in the background. The house was designed with much thought, careful to respect the surrounding landscape.
As a one-story residence, this box-type home remains open for future additions, such as a second story plan. The shape of the house was done to separate public and private areas, creating a clear distinction between the two. However, there is a sense of an indoor-outdoor living. The movement within the house is fluid at the same time allowing easy access to the outside area.
Inside, the house is relaxed and comfortable, pretty much what you’d expect to find in a beach house. The walls and floors are done in white, brightening up the whole space. The ceiling provides a nice contrast, creating a warm, homey atmosphere.
Notes from the Architect:
This beach house is located in the Atlantic coast of Argentina, 10 kilometers away from Pinamar, and 400 meters away from the beach, where the sound of the sea is constant. One of the main premises was to respect the coniferous forest, along with the “L” shape facing north. It is developed in one-story with the open possibility to build a new floor on top (one of the patios sets the space for the potential stairs). This “L” configuration allows to separate the public area from the private, articulating these spaces through three patios which capture light. The house is introverted towards its front façade, providing intimacy as well as a sense of mystery to the passersby. A compact “box”, where the attention is stolen by the pedestrian ramp, which finishes in the residence’s entrance patio.
The interior/exterior relationship is fluid, the residence lives the landscape in a direct way, since it is surrounded by the existent vegetation. Facing north the openings are from floor to ceiling, and it matches with most of the view towards the forest. The lot is uneven as it rises from front to back. The house joins into this movement: the public nave, 3 meters high, is positioned by taking the sides of the lot, in the front, and is settled at +0.5 meters. The private nave, respecting the existent soil, sets at +0.9 meters.
The constitution of the residence is based on noble materials: masonry, independent concrete structure and wood. In the public area – living room, dining room and kitchen – the exposed concrete slab is the main character principally because local wood has been used for the formwork, leaving its print in the ceiling. The 3 meters pivotal main door, covered in “petiribí” (cordia trichotoma) finish this space warmly. There is a clear opposition between the dark exterior and the whiteness of the interior. The patios, which generate reflections in the interiors, along with the constant sound of the sea make of this house a place to truly rest and relax.
The house is accessed through a ramp, which intercepts the blind wall in the front and articulates with the first patio of the residence. The social space opens to the north and to the landscape. Going through the second patio – between the public and private areas – and going up a few steps, the circulation connecting the rooms is found, where a projected linear slab and an opening in the bottom that takes the entire circulation, bathes the space with light, projecting it sharply on the floor, and generating intimacy in the rooms. The rooms live the landscape with openings from floor to ceiling. The third patio is articulated with the main room, creating a “camera of air and light” between the guest or kids rooms and the main dormitory.
This beach house exceeded the owners expectations; since it has transformed into a permanent residente and gave a closer bond with the wildlife. It has become a frame to admire the landscape, a container for reading and meditation; habits that are hard to achieve when coexisting with the noise and pace of the city. The main nave, with its scale and opening towards the forest, calls for family and social gatherings.
The biggest challenge facing this project and building this house was to work on a tight budget. We prioritized the orientation, in order to use the energy efficiently in both winter and summer; the flexibility in the spaces – because this was designed as a summer house, it was an important premise that needed to be accomplished -; and also the use of regional and noble materials, along with simplicity and synthesis in the details.
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