FRN House / NOA, Najmias Office for Architecture

FRN House / NOA, Najmias Office for Architecture

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Text description provided by the architects. The requirements for the project were very ambitious. The clients wanted a house with a tight surface area of no more than 350 sqm, but they wanted a wide variety of spaces, all of which should be spacious and generously sized. Finally, we agreed on the architectural program: a master suite with a dressing room, three bedrooms en suite for the children, a living room, dining room, kitchen, quincho, playroom, laundry room, storage room, and a maid’s room.

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However, this was not all. In addition to the multiplicity of desired spaces, there was the complexity of the desired relationships between one environment and another. The challenge was no small one: the master suite had to be away from the children’s rooms and if possible on another floor; additionally, it had to be on the same floor as the living room or a few steps apart. In addition, the children’s room had to be about the quincho, but without being affected by any noise. They also wanted the quincho to be close to the playroom and kitchen. Finally, all the social areas of the house, as well as the suite, were to have open views of the golf course.

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Following several iterations, which are a regular part of our design process, we were able to reconcile these requirements in a proposal that had a strong architectural synthesis and careful use of energy and natural resources, generating wide and long views without compromising the privacy of the inhabitants of the house. The FRN house is, in appearance, a simple project: two rectangles offset in plan. However, it proposes a complex architecture with a spatiality that transcends the obvious.

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These two rectangles are very different from each other, one is a closed, intimate volume that encloses the bedrooms; the other is open, extroverted, formed by two horizontal planes that contain the social area of the house where the limits between interior and exterior are diluted: a reinforced concrete tray floats uninterrupted on the travertine base without any structure being perceived.

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Given the large glazed surface, special attention was paid to energy optimization: overhangs and eaves prevent sunlight in summer and allow it to enter in winter; in addition, all glass is treated to improve its performance, and sunshades are used in the bedrooms. Care for the environment and sustainability can be seen in the incorporation of a gray water reuse system, solar collectors for hot water, and solar panels for electricity generation.

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