Estudio Mola completes block of elevated row houses in Buenos Aires
Brick screens and patterned metal shutters wrap the outside of this block of row houses in Buenos Aires that was developed by local architects Estudio Mola.
The Complejo 8 ("Complex 8") project is located in Castelar, a city in Argentina that is part of the broader Buenos Aires metropolitan area. As the name suggests, it offers eight single-family residences on the same lot.
Estudio Mola, which is also based in Castelar, divided the longitudinal block into eight row houses, creating exposures on the front and back of each residence.
The 1,400-square-metres building is elevated above the street, which creates a parking space underneath each house.
"The ground floor serves as a main pedestrian and vehicular entrance to all the units," said Estudio Mola.
"There is a pedestrian circulation next to a long concrete wall that guides us to each of the brick boxes, which serve as a private access to each living unit," it added.
On the intermediate floor, the architects designed an open-concept kitchen, living, and dining room that opens out to the backyard.
Because of a grade change on site, they were able to include this outdoor space on the upper level, which is higher than the surrounding streets.
Each of the resident's gardens is separated by a perforated brick wall, offering some privacy without making the outdoor space feel too enclosed.
An open concrete staircase leads residents to the top floor, where the typical layout offers three bedrooms and a bathroom. To enclose the private spaces on this floor, the architects designed a system of white metal shutters.
Since the top floor has a larger footprint, it has the appearance of a uniform volume that fills the entire lot. "The idea of expanding up and out is something very characteristic of this project," said the architects.
"It allows us to connect each home to the outside, receive better sunlight due the elevation of the garden, and keep the vehicle areas isolated," they explained.
On the inside, the studio took a more restrained approach, leaving exposed white walls, raw concrete ceilings, and simple wooden flooring. At either end of the long block, small courtyards filled with vegetation mark a contrast to the building's palette.
Other projects in Buenos Aires include a courtyard house that was extended with a glass-and-steel volume, and a sensitive renovation to a home from the 1930s by Torrado Arquitectos.
The photography is by Javier Agustin Rojas.
Project managers: Alejo Fernandez, Lucas Geya
Design team: Francisco Ricart, Julian Marchetti, Gimena Caffo, Alejo Del Grosso, Marcos Bartellone
Engineer: Claudio Ianesse