View House by Johnston Marklee
and Diego Arraigada Arquitecto


Architectural photographer Leonardo Finotti has sent us images of a house in Rosario, Argentina, by American practice Johnston Marklee and Argentinian practice Diego Arraigada Arquitecto.

The building, called View House, is situated on the Argentinian plains.

Its design aims to allow the occupant to enjoy the surrounding views on all sides while still keeping their privacy.

The interior features a spiralling staircase, which leads to a roof deck.

By including large windows and cross ventilation, the architects aim to minimise electricity costs for the occupants.

It is constructed from  concrete, anodized aluminium, plaster and hardwoods.

The house covers 3200 square feet.

Here's some more information from Diego Arraigada Arquitecto and Johnston Marklee:



The View House is designed under conditions generated by both the potential and limitations of large suburban developments.

Situated near Rosario on the vast landscape of the Argentine plains, the 3200 sq foot house occupies a 22,750 sq foot parcel.

The design is driven by two conflicting desires: engaging the living experience of the house with the views of the surrounding landscape and preserving privacy from neighbors.

Planning demands and the unique position of the peripheral corner lot demanded a specific approach to the massing of the house and its engagement with the landscape.

A compact massing strategy with a minimal footprint liberates and preserves the ground, defining a two story structure.

By denying the traditional front, side, and rear yard designations, and instead intensifying the facade as a surface that continuously modulates the relationship of interior to exterior, the perception of the house unfolds through a sequence of oblique views where every surface of façade becomes primary.

The formal and tectonic complexity of the house results from the repetition of four basic geometric subtractions from a primitive mass that create a dynamic exterior shape perceived simultaneously as embedded and lofted, cantilevered and slumped.

In the interior, these operations define a continuous and modulated space that spirals upwards from the ground level to the roof terrace in a sequence of living areas.

The four geometric subtractions have differentiated volumetric impressions on the inside of the house, each of which, together with a contiguous aperture, results in an interior landscape of paired surfaces, views, and lighting effects.

The rotational strategy for the apertures results from the framing of desirable landscape features, the anticipation of neighboring developments and the choreography of internal circulation.

The reduction of electric and HVAC demands by facilitating cross ventilation and natural light have also been taken into consideration.

Click for larger image

Varying in height, orientation, and depth, each framed opening captures a distinct view, providing alternating relationships between interior and exterior.

View House by Johnston Marklee and Diego Arraigada 2_450

Click for larger image

The layering of subtractions and apertures also relates to the tectonic demands of the overall concrete shell.

View House by Johnston Marklee and Diego Arraigada 1_450

Click for larger image

As a culmination of the internal circulation along a path of 360º, a flight of steps leads up to a panoramic roof deck, from which the expansive surrounding landscape can be perceived from a new height.

Click for larger image

The rough concrete shell of the house was built using traditional local techniques and its form and finish retain the impression of the means and methods of its construction.

In contrast, the interior of the house is smooth and polished in nature. Lightly hued terrazzo floors on the first floor are distinguished from the smooth plaster walls only by a degree of reflectivity and polish.

The black window frames punctuate the views and define a contrast with the white interior atmosphere.

In more intimate, private spaces, Lapacho wood covers the floors creating a new contrast with the walls and ceilings.

Rosario, Argentina.
Project: 2004-2005
Construction: 2006-2009
Site Area: 2113 m2
Interior Area: 297 m2
Total Built Area: 361 m2


Principals-in-Charge:    Mark Lee, Diego Arraigada
Project Architect:        Sharon Johnston AIA
Project Team:        Juliana Esposito, Jeff Adams, Pablo Gamba, Nazarena Infante,
Nadia Carassai, Anne Rosenberg, Anton Schneider
Developer:        Lucas Ma (President, Markee LLC)
Structural Engineer:              Ing Gonzalo Garibay
General Contractor:        MECSA, Ing Gustavo Micheletti


Exposed Concrete, Anodized Aluminum, Plaster, Polished concrete, Polished Terrazzo, Lapacho Hardwood.

Posted on Monday September 28th 2009 at 12:05 am by Sarah Housley. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • GO SHARON! :)

  • stev

    Great! Pure, simple and complex in one.

    … But what if the kid grows … :-)

  • ste

    really like the light inside… thats a nice example for architecture which works great in the inside AND is great sculpture on the outside… contemporary feel nice materials and the right amount of abstraction

  • ElP

    Sure, that looks funny, but spatially, that’s insane!

  • xinxinchai

    Though I can appreciate the effort and the thorough thought process behind the design, I’m just not able to comprehend how the issue of privacy has been addressed. The large openings do allow for fantastic views out to the plains, but simultaneously they do invite views into the interiors as well.

  • LOW

    No matter how many blogs feature this house, Im still in love with it

  • mark burnham

    always wanted more details on this house since i saw it on the cover of MARK. great post.

  • sarah

    I just really love this house. Its fantastic

  • Ghost

    Oh, my, last year when I was there, it was under construction…and it turned out to be very elegant!

  • Q

    A pleasure to the intelect!

  • martinbeck3

    A house so ugly on the outside will probably never have neighbors trying to look in or around.It certainly is scary!

  • yrag

    View House. “Its design aims to allow the occupant to enjoy the surrounding views on all sides while still keeping their privacy.”

    I wish the architects had been as considerate to surrounding views as they have been to the occupant.

    The interior is very nice and the exteriors form is pleasing but the harsh unfinished concrete makes the form feel intruding and bunker-like.

    Full disclosure: I’ve never been a fan of unfinished concrete surfaces, Louis Kahn et al.

  • rainey

    Could you get this for me?

  • LAF

    that was a funny feeling for an minimalist artist to see that think
    for my brain and my hart…thanks…LAF