Loma House / Besonias Almeida Arquitectos

Loma House / Besonias Almeida Arquitectos

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Text description provided by the architects. Loma House is located in Costa Esmeralda, a private development on the dunes of the Buenos Aires coast, 390 km from Buenos Aires and only 13 km north of Pinamar. It is an urban complex of great landscape value in which native pastures coexist with a young forestation of acacias and maritime pines and preserves some sectors of the consolidated forest.

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The lot, with a 22m front and 50m depth, has a young grove of maritime pines and is part of a dune that rises abruptly (in the first 6m of retreat) up to 4m above the level of the access road, maintaining this difference also with one of the neighboring lots. This particularity, while making access difficult, provides sufficient privacy without the need for extra resources concerning the public space and one of the neighbors.

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The commission consisted of a summer house entirely built in exposed concrete, including a considerable part of its equipment in this order. The clients gave the studio the possibility of breaking with this extreme uniformity by using some other material that could express itself in contrast both in color and texture with the concrete, making it clear that this choice should be made considering zero maintenance.

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The program should include an en-suite bedroom with its own storage space for the couple and two bedrooms with shared bathrooms for the children who can receive friends. The social area should be the main space of the house and the one that would establish the most fluid relationship with the forest and with the different outdoor activities required to live it intensely. They also requested an enclosed space for storing beach vehicles and an outdoor space for vehicles.

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To respond to the situation created by the significant unevenness between the lot and its surroundings, without making changes to its topography and respecting all the existing trees, it was proposed to create a pedestrian path that would take advantage of the initially adverse conditions. The route begins at the foot of a comfortable staircase with five landings, which runs along almost the entire sloping side with the lowest adjoining lot.  At the end of the ascent and through a doorway one enters a courtyard. A space that is insinuated by a series of quebracho boards in vertical position, while climbing the stairs. An organizing space for the whole house that, sheltered from the gaze of the neighbors, provides privacy and expansion to the most important rooms of the house.

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In a corner of the courtyard, and barely insinuated by an eave, is the entrance door to the social area with all integrated uses (living, dining, kitchen) determined according to the type of concrete equipment proposed. Turning, and through a corridor visually integrated with the courtyard, one enters the secondary bedrooms and the general bathroom. At the end of the path, announced by a light entrance, the master bedroom is accessed with views of the street through a low horizontal opening along the entire suite. Finally, and through a large window, we can go out to the courtyard and start the tour again. In addition to the access through the staircase, another secondary access has been planned with quebracho boards on the natural terrain to enter directly to the outdoor activities area under the grove.

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Having defined the way to climb the dune to enter the house and the distribution of the rooms to avoid all the trees, it remained to be solved how to make evident from the street access to the house so far away from the road. It was then decided to produce a break in the formal rigorousness of the volumetry to announce this entrance. This is achieved by breaking the orthogonality of the floor plan with a slight turn of the staircase and the side of the courtyard. In this way, part of the prism that encloses the social activities becomes visible and, in the same operation with the dragging of part of the lateral partition wall, a volumetric distortion is generated that is visible from the street.

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