MYP House by Estudio BaBO

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MYP House by Estudio BaBO

Argentine architects Estudio BaBO have stacked one brick box upon another to create this house next to a golf course in Buenos Aires.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

Brick walls with square openings project out from the building at ground floor level, partially screening outdoor areas.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

Bedrooms and bathrooms occupy an L-shaped floor-plate on the first floor, enabling ground floor living areas to be double-height.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

The clay brick used is sourced from nearby town Chacabuco.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

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MYP House by Estudio BaBO

The following is from the architects:


MYP House

The project consists of a single family suburban house placed within a corner plot in a traditional Country Club in the Pilar area, Buenos Aires, Argentina. With a surface area of 1100m², the site forms part of a new extension of the Club, resulting in an almost inexistent urban context, deprived of both neighboring houses and grown vegetation.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

The only significant influence surrounding the plot is the adjacent par three golf course. The plot is completely flat and there is no physical limit between the golf course and its northeastern border, resulting in a magnificent view which also coincides with the best sun orientation.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

The internal regulation of the Country Club, including a strict limitation to the buildable area and its limits regarding the neighboring buildings, generates a very large urban sprawl with lots of space between houses.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

This results in large green open spaces, enabling you to connect with the natural surroundings, a characteristic not common in other suburban developments such as this one. On the other hand; these same characteristics, combined with the client’s desire to use the maximum area allowed, often result in a very compact rectangular volume, sometimes dull and devoid of expression.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

This is the main reason why most of the houses in this neighborhood tend to concentrate on the outer spaces (so common in this type of climate) by using lightweight structures attached to the main volume, thus compromising their own formal logic.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

These strong factors, existent in most of the houses within this area, are taken as the principal ideas for our project. We choose to exteriorize the volume, instead of hiding it, exploiting all of its possibilities. We first, expose it, and then apply different articulation mechanisms to create a variation of spatial relations between the different factors present in the projects program.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

We slice the volume horizontally dividing the daily functions from the private ones. Then we cut, rotate and translate the lower walls so as to gain contact with the exterior at ground level, without giving away the required privacy.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

One of these articulations creates an entrance courtyard towards the western corner. Its perimeter walls provide privacy, protect the interiors from the harsh western sun, and extend inwards generating a programmatic and symbolic promenade.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

The other articulations protect the main and exterior areas from the surrounding street and provide room for an outer kitchen and a service patio for the basement.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

The program for this house is that of any other of its type, it is the treatment of the limits between each space which adds complexity to the final plan. It was established from the first moment the importance to make a separation between day and night activities.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

The ground floor plan is dedicated to daytime activities. Its plan is open so as to connect with its exterior surroundings, at the same time a conscious effort is made to conserve the privacy of its inhabitants and also retain the buildings domestic scale. There is a fluid connection between its spatial units, the kitchen and the guest toilet (being the only closable rooms).

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

An open staircase dividing the living and dining room, has a balustrade made up of thin metal bars which seemingly open up as the observer moves around its lower space; a piece of furniture specifically placed at a change of floor level also allows for a one-way visual connection to be made between the two spaces. These are some of the strategies implemented to induce a playful separation between spaces.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

The outdoor terrace is integrated as a special unit within itself, with the same length, width and double height of the living area, this important feature becomes the most utilized space in the house. Large retractable glass doors separating this area from the living room allow for the two spaces to be unified and promote use throughout most of the year.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

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The outward projection of the lower brick walls, together with its rectangular openings, guarantees privacy while generating ambiguous limits. This insinuates a fluid succession between interior and exterior.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

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Apart from the visual connection between the linear hallway and the living area (in double height) the first floor plan is formed by a simple succession of bedrooms and bathrooms.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

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All of the rooms extend themselves to the exterior through big glass openings, each room towards a different site. It is intended to individualize the bedrooms by providing them with a different scene and light quality. This also generates the increase of mass in all of the upper floor facades, giving the house its monolithic character.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

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Natural light has been essential in this project. The ground floor plan has been designed so as to avoid direct sunlight. The indirect light provides the rooms with a very particular quality, uniform and constant throughout the day. Together with the double height ceilings and cross ventilation the necessity of using a mechanical cooling system can be avoided.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

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With regards to the materiality of the project, the decision was made to repeat the use of the Chacabuco brick, seen in the club house and its surrounding buildings, to create a dialogue between the project and its environment.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

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The module of the brick is present in the project both in the general proportions of the top volume and as the direct articulator of the relationship between mass and void. On the main level, clear granite is chosen for both interior and exterior floors and a plaster finishing is used on the interior walls throughout the house. Wood is present in the two leveled ceilings of the gallery. All windows are in an anodized black, a colour shared with the exterior wall surrounding the kitchen.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

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The project aims to represent a synthesis of its contextual conditions. On the one hand, the already limited constraints of an isolated single family house with its requirements, such as connections, privacy and security in this non-permeable area. And on the other hand, the acceptance of the existing constructive pressures as an enabling and legitimizing design strategy.

MYP House by Estudio BaBO

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Type / Single family suburban house
Architecture / Estudio BaBO
Team / Francisco Kocourek, Francesc Planas Penadés, Marit Haugen Stabell
Collaborators / Marcos Buceta, Eva Aagard
Construction / DAC. S.A.
Structure / Eduardo Diner Civil Engineer
Location / Pilar, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Plot Area / 1100m2
Built Area / 330m2
Project Year / 2008
Construction Year / 07/2008 – 01/2010
Photographs / Daniela Mac Aden, Federico Kulekdjian

  • http://netzfx.de Oliver

    very good looking house – love the clear structure

  • fivedollarshake

    just lovely material choices

  • justin

    unfortunate railing design.

    • http://www.dailygrail.com Red Pill Junkie

      Yeah. The only thing I didn't like about the whole project.

  • yuc

    Reminds me Mies' treatment of (brick) walls before the Barcelona pavillion; also S. Leverentz rather recently.

    Thanks for the courage in using this essential architectural element again! (But I wonder if anyone still thinks whether we should have beams above the window openings and slabs under the centilevers to avoid the a-tectonic Venturi façades?= decorated shed)

  • Jupmorenola

    a Modern interpretation of the Herman Lange House, by Mies.

  • citicritter

    yuc: I actually much prefer this "a-tectonic" attitude – do you mean lintels rather than beams? Because this couldn't be bearing wall brick anyway, but rather brick veneer. The play of mass and void, light and heavy is more interesting how its handled here, versus pretending its a masonry structure. And it's certainly far from a Venturi decorated shed!

  • Onelab

    Great house! It "feels" just right, the overal size, the dimension of the spaces, the colour of the interior and the masonry. I agree about the railing: it somehow seems out of place.
    The thing that would have made it perfect: leaving out the black, square steel colum just between the outside wall in the backgarden and the "box"of the first floor ( above the terras). Maybe it would have been more of a tour de force construction wise, but it would have looked so much cooler if it had been truly detached! It would have been feasable contruction wise, but probably much more expensive.

  • Alex

    True, a great project, I don´t like the railing design either….
    Anyway, good job!