Caja House by Estudio Aire


Architectural photographer Leonardo Finotti has sent us his photos of a house in Argentina by Estudio Aire, based in Rosario, Argentina.

Called Caja House, the project comprises a long, single storey building arranged around a central courtyard.

A strip of water in the courtyard reflects the sky and glass panels allow the surrounding rooms to be opened onto this outdoor space.

Here's some more information from Estudio Aire:


The project was developed between personal wills and external demands. We enjoy narrating this process without too much theory but with architectural responsibility and enthusiasm instead.

During the first meetings we tried to talk with our clients about architecture itself not specifically a home project. We realised it was our opportunity to develop something different between both parties. We were very enthusiastic for we could have the possibility of reviewing our architectural repertoire. At the beginning there were no specific orders, which arrived as time passed by and started working together.

We had feeling to work as a team, sometimes sharing some points of view concerning design, some others not. Our clients were much concerned with the issue of privacy and intimacy as regards life in private neighborhoods such as Kentucky. We considered it important to be able to appreciate from the inside the decisions taken (morphology, geometry, materials, how to manipulate the natural lighting) rather than the criteria used in such spaces so far.

We started working on a criteria based on a central open space . Little by little it became more radical and the rest of the situations began to subordinate to the yard. We were questioning the modern language leading elements to an almost primitive instance. The concept of continuous space extends beyond the physical limit of covered surface. The Interior unroofed surface regulates the link with the outside world. One of the faces is an opening with two glass doors. Opening completely enabling to redefine the concept of externality and integrating the rest of the area.

The water here incorporates the built mass reflexes. The House becomes its own landscape. Fragmentation in the section cover is another particular moment of thought and analysis which occurs not only to fill the interior of light but to establish a link with nature, incorporating the sky.

In general we usually describe our work as a box with a yard inside it denoting a formal will at first place. However the best is inside, the richer inner space as a result of it. With two photographs from outside the story would be resolved, but it would be impossible from the inside.

The strongest effort was to decide about what not to be done or how to make it simpler.

We came to only four materials. On top "white" dominates all items, aluminum resolves openings to the inner patio , the metal for the perimeter gates and glass for transparent and translucent cladding.

This reduction is the reaction to a need to avoid excessive thinking of achieving simplicity as a concept.

dzn_Caja House by Estudio Aire 01

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We are satisfied for having being able to provide a contemporary answer leaving aside modern language. Now that the work has been completed we have began to look in time to more distant examples of it.

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The colonial House is the first example that appeared. The potential of the yard, the opening toit, the gallery, tectonics condition, force walls, the dispossession of ornamentation, the height of the Interior.

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We are now studying the pompeyana House , which carry this same situations to a more primitive and radical state . All this working under the concept of modern space.

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We believe that the contemporary does not have to do with a completely new production or with an indiscriminate repetition of recipes. We are interested in reviewing everything that has already been produced and intervene as little as possible. We have very clear it is almost ridiculous since our activity lies in filling free spaces.

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This paradox is which obsessively leads us to focus on the space resulting of it through the manipulation of shapes. We love thinking that we produce air.

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Posted on Monday November 2nd 2009 at 1:20 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • bebo

    heavenly pure and serene…almost not real

  • G

    Oh, I just got struck down with an extreme case of AJS (Architectural Jealousy Syndrome) again. Really beautiful work. Love it.

  • I love the water pool in the courtyard, imagine how cool it must be in summer, imagine the tea parties you could have on it, imagine the semi-nude fashion shoot you could have on it.

  • aeolus

    The extensive use of clerestory lighting is one of the most interesting features of the house. The little boy seems almost a ghost in the photos. Wonder if he is allowed to leave a messy room! The house is breathtaking in its severity.

  • miguel

    love this. I can feel something classic in it.
    And I am sure it will get old properly.
    nice work

  • very clean and pure…wonderful

  • SB

    No windows out? what are they hiding from?

  • just wonderful … greetings from brazil!

  • NR

    I don’t find it to be that great at all… First of all, in a climate like that, it would do good to have some soft landscape in the court. And secondly, something that is actually quite preposterous, the rooms around the court have no other source of light and ventilation other than the court, in a situation where the house is open form all sides…Sorry, just doesn’t work for me at all… the ‘white’, ‘pure’, ‘serene’ spaces just come forth in the pictures…

  • José Marteleira

    Impressive. Congratulations

  • tanya telford – T

    i really like the proportions & strong continuity throughout,

  • sam

    Lovely…. is it real?
    There is something a little cg about the images.

  • Omar

    no tiene nada diferente ni nada interesante, no inventaste nada loco…..pero igualmente es una onda que me gusta…….muy bueno.

  • Maravilloso!!! Mis felicitaciones tanto para Estudio Aire como para su comitente.
    Gracias por tan buena arquitectura en nuestra querida Buenos Aires.


    La verdad que es una hermosa casa solo le estaria faltando una casita cerca y escondidita, como para vivir.

  • bodkin

    why no pictures from the inside with the end glazed wall open to the outside? is the view really that bad? it might explain the lack of external windows

  • L

    architecture from Rosario! wait to see the new apartment buildings too!

  • Paulo

    Alberto Campo Baeza´s influence everywhere .

  • Rik

    “Nice”,polite…..But boring,lacks context with neighbourhood and landscape

  • awesome architecture. needs more furniture and art.

  • Absolutely beautiful.

    Plan looks clean yet realistic, gorgeous form, beautiful restraint I think it would look just as amazing with a little bit of mess. Works in every way. Deals with all the client’s concerns with privacy but doesn’t turn its back on the street but presents a beautiful form. Total control. The definition of confidence and elegance.

    Enhorabuena Estudio Aire, es un proyecto increíble. Sin duda.

  • John

    Unreal pictures! Very jealous. Not sure if the structure respects the vernacular of the neighborhood, but it’s an architect’s dream. Only issue I have with the layout is the master bedroom near the other bedrooms. I don’t want to be near the kids and I don’t want the kids hearing what’s going on in the master bedroom.
    What’s up with the translation? It’s terrible! I quit reading because half of it doesn’t make any sense, like reading Chinese directions to assembling a toy.
    Congrats to the architects!

  • othoha

    muy innovador el diseño excelente

  • Liliana A

    Amazing!!!! Beautiful!!

  • I just can’t understand, why is this stucture reserved to it’s own garden. I understand dicretness towards public space, but why to own garden? Maybe when we consider atrium as one of the rooms of house, garden is just the rest outside the house.
    The intimacy of the house and it’s inner spaces is not involved in to the garden. The garden next to this grat house have more potencial, I thing.

  • pezsapo

    these kind of “minimalistic” spaces are becoming more and more boring, it seems that Mies’s influence have been re-interpretated over and over…
    ….architecture for architects?

  • beautiful yes, but people need to live in these buildings……they provide the warmth a home needs……would this home?

  • raymond

    can people really live in such clinical spaces based on cultural habits in Argentina?

  • vanesa turco

    divina ……. como todo lo que ustedes hacen

  • thank you all for your respectfull coments.
    we payed attentiion to all of them
    life is posible in quite, calm and introveted spaces
    best wishes

    gracias vanesa, me sorprendió encontrarte por acá. un beso

  • Steven

    What a *simply* beautiful house, in every sense of the word.

  • F-J

    The purity of this expression leads me to question if one could live in a sterile environment.

  • laura

    amigos mios que orgullo tan grande y que logro tan merecido, arquitectura que inspira, deslumbra y conmueve….lograron resumir lo maximo con lo minimo impecablemente ….los quiero! laurita del piccolo prol

  • la sensación de armonía que transmite el conjunto, emociona. Creo que esta vez, las fotos lograron mostrar la belleza del conjunto en todo su potencial. Felicitaciones!

  • wayne

    fantastic! less is more.