Barrancas de Playa Grande

BARRANCAS DE PLAYA GRANDE This housing complex is located in the city of Mar del Plata, on the Atlantic Ocean, 400 kms. (250 miles) south of Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital city. To accomplish an architectural design responsive to contemporary dynamics and to technology, with its ability to recreate project design, the conceptual mechanisms that guide and drive us during all commissions and bids are subject to the changing conditions of an increasingly globalized cultural context. Thus, our architecture emerges from an exploration determined by specific urban conditions, topography, current regulations, weather, program, zeitgeist and other data, with cultural heritage and our firm’s professional expertise as catalytic factors. Building leads us to an actual reflection that reveals our intentions, balancing –according to their functions- the chords of each project between sensorial and mental, clear and multiple, global and particular dimensions. This housing development consists of two bodies: a 13-storey Tower with two half-floor apartments per floor, and a 9-storey Strip with 4 half-floor apartments per floor. Tower apartments are 220 sq. mts. in size, while Strip apartments feature 90-sq.-mt. and 150-sq.-mt. units. The urban strategy for this development focused on following the existing building profile that shapes the surrounding landscape. The triangular building plot, with its hypotenuse facing San Martí­n Park and the ocean, is a privileged site in terms of visuals and access. In order to integrate the complex to its environment, project design involved the construction of two blocks with different heights to address their specific functions as urban edges. Thus, the Tower on San Lorenzo Street crowns the existing volumetry along San Martí­n Park´s entire coastal profile. On the other hand, the horizontal-cut building located on Aristóbulo del Valle Street has a compatible height relationship to that of neighboring properties. Therefore, the complex brings two typologies together, providing a sense of unity to the urban fabric. Both buildings feature unadorned, permeable central lobbies in order to frame sea views and to bring users closer to the sea. The basement, set on the characteristic irregular ravine terrain, links both buildings, following the topography and featuring platforms at varying levels to make up the complex’s social areas. The basement’s highest level includes a visual podium, with a deck solarium, swimming and wading pool, and a garden that unfolds towards the sea. At the basement’s intermediate level, a garden provides relax areas with a water falling plane as its centerpiece. At the lower level, a pond with a volcanic gravel bed signals the prelude to the complex’s public areas. Diverse circulation paths and meeting points at varying scales were instrumental in the search to attain an appropriate interaction between both sea and mountain landscapes. In this project, windows are not mere openings in the walls but a part of a broader formal strategy in building development. In fact, windows have become the formal driver in architecture. Framing, enclosing and concealing views, and open corners are adequate elements intended to accomplish the desired morphology. Apartments are very spacious, with terraces and balconies, offering simultaneous double views, both over the ocean (southeast) and over the flat-top mountains (northeast) -a distinctive feature that provides abundant sunlight and amazing views. In order to optimize thermal and acoustic performance, the building enclosure system includes double walls and state-of-the-art aluminum structural work. The building’s envelope design effectively protects armed concrete structures from exposure to sea air. In addition, the concrete and coating thickness used protect the buildings from marine erosion. As a result of ongoing and increasingly relevant technological innovation in architecture, the building design was able to incorporate solutions intended to optimize energy resource utilization. These innovations are visible in plastering and painting materials, which fulfill an aesthetic function while serving as protection against climatic conditions in a hard-weather area. This also applies to the big window panes with chemical UV blocker treatment and to the aluminum work with energy efficient thermal circuit breakers. A building program that reduces to the utmost the use of polluting materials such as lead, paraffin and copper. Our firm is strongly committed to environmentally-friendly building practices, through responsible architectural solutions.


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