Scalloped cage fronts 18-square-metre corner apartment in Buenos Aires
Tiny El Camarin apartment by IR Arquitectura

Scalloped cage fronts 18-square-metre corner apartment in Buenos Aires

Argentinian studio IR Arquitectura has transformed a leftover corner of a 1950s building in Buenos Aires into this small apartment, using built-in furniture and a caged balcony.

Tiny El Camarin apartment by IR Arquitectura

Called El Camarin, the renovated residence is located in Charcarita – a neighbourhood in the north-central portion of Argentina's capital.

Tiny El Camarin apartment by IR Arquitectura

It occupies a triangular portion that was left empty after the mid-century building was broken up into different spaces.

The main building's street corner is chamfered, giving the apartment an unusual shape. IR Arquitectura describes it as an "ochava", which translates to chamfer.

Tiny El Camarin apartment by IR Arquitectura

"This small apartment, residual product of the fragmentation of a property built in the 1950s in the neighbourhood of Chacarita, forms an 'ochava' on the first floor with visuals open to the outside as exposed to the curious look from the street," said IR Arquitectura in a project description.

Tiny El Camarin apartment by IR Arquitectura

To make the most of this unusual setting, the firm extended the front of the building with a curved terrace, adding an extra seven square metres to the existing 18-square-metre space.

Tiny El Camarin apartment by IR Arquitectura

Curved white mesh sections on the front offer street views and allow in plenty of natural light, while maintaining the privacy of the residents.

A series of similar caged balconies also flank a concrete tower that architecture firm Adamo-Faiden has recently completed in the city.

Tiny El Camarin apartment by IR Arquitectura

At El Camarin, plant pots and wooden stools decorate the balcony, with white beams and glass over the top. Folding glass doors with wooden frames open into the apartment behind, to let light in colder months and be opened up during hotter weather.

"The incorporation of spaced enclosures offers a new device, a diaphragm able to expand the use of the apartment in summer and to contract it in winter," said the firm.

Tiny El Camarin apartment by IR Arquitectura

To make the most of the small and irregular space inside, IR Arquitectura designed built-in furniture for the other two walls, which serves the living room in between.

Tiny El Camarin apartment by IR Arquitectura

Cabinetry on one side features a small kitchen and encloses the bathroom behind. White doors with circular blue handles open to reveal the fridge and the washing machine, while another folds down to form a table that can be used for eating or as a study desk.

Tiny El Camarin apartment by IR Arquitectura

Shelving is arranged along the other wall to form a mini library for the residents' books. A stepped platform is built up behind this, forming a bench and desk at the lower level, and the bed at the top.

Cushions and bedding in muted hues, greenery, and other possessions pick on the tones of the tiled entrance, adding splashes of colour to the otherwise neutral interior of white furniture and grey flooring.

Tiny El Camarin apartment by IR Arquitectura

As cities becoming increasingly dense, El Camarin joins a number of tiny residences that pack a punch in a small amount of space. Others include a 24-square-metre São Paulo flat with multi-functional furniture and a New York apartment that functions like one twice its size.

Photography is by Fernando Schapochnik.

Project credits:

Project team: Luciano Intile, Enrico Cavaglià, Fermín Indavere, Esteban Basili, Guillermo Mirochnic, Rodrigo Perez de Pedro, Cecile Elbel, Sabine Uldry, Tommaso Polli.

More images and plans

Tiny El Camarin apartment by IR Arquitectura
Floor plan
Tiny El Camarin apartment by IR Arquitectura
Section
Tiny El Camarin apartment by IR Arquitectura
Axonometric diagram
Tiny El Camarin apartment by IR Arquitectura
Tiny El Camarin apartment by IR Arquitectura
Tiny El Camarin apartment by IR Arquitectura
Tiny El Camarin apartment by IR Arquitectura
Tiny El Camarin apartment by IR Arquitectura
Tiny El Camarin apartment by IR Arquitectura