Argentine "House Among Trees" Is Actually Built Around Them


Photos: Gustavo Sosa Pinilla.

Although Argentina has shown little regard for most of its native forests (a law approved almost four years ago has not been put into full force yet), the city of Villa Gesell, a vacation spot 400 kilometers south of Buenos Aires, is famous for its stronger environmental spirit.

Its building codes determine that only certain amount of land can be covered with construction in plots and it restricts the cutting of trees, especially in the forested nearby areas of Mar de las Pampas and Mar Azul. A rule not always respected but that -combined with some responsible owners- has kept these two towns' natural charm despite rapid development.

Martin Fernandez de Lema and Nicolas Moreno Deutsch's project 'House among trees' environmental approach, then, comes as no surprise knowing the area. Although its modern aesthetic is probably more impressive than the fact that they wrapped their construction among trees.

The main feature of this project is obviously the fact that the architects respected the typology and pendent of the plot, adapting the house to existing trees and incorporating them into the design.

However, it's also interesting how they criticized the reigning aesthetics of the little house in the fantasy forest that has invaded this town and went on to create a modern construction that is not a statement on its own but a harmonic integration of habitable space with the surrounding.

Explaining at HomeDSGN, they say:

"The house turned into a habitable dock, which emerges from the ground to see the landscape surrounding. It takes place on two levels, a level which emerges from the earth serves as a plinth for private use, which organizes the rooms and defines a horizontal plane on which rests a pavilion on the upper level, which includes the social program with the living, dining room, grill and terrace, organized in a central area of use, with sides of circulation and services.


Upstairs, one of these bands open circulation defines an access path between trees, from the street. A piece of concrete L-shaped opens this central area to the north, opening the forest view with large windows, and close to the southeast, with smaller windows, willing to visual height of a seated person.

Fernandez de Lema and Moreno Deutsch have not been the only ones introducing some stunning modern and responsible architecture to Mar Azul: BAK Architects has some interesting projects as well.

For more on the sustainable design and culture beat in Latin America follow me on Twitter. Latin designer with a green project? Shoot me an e-mail at paula at treehugger dot com
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Tags: Architecture | Argentina | Buenos Aires | Green Building

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