Intelligent Ventilation and Shading in Buenos Aires Building Design
(In collaboration with Lloyd Alter) This hip construction in Las CaÃ±itas neighborhood (Palermo, Buenos Aires) might not be the greenest concerning materials, but its merit resides in the way the ventilation and lighting-reflection were thought, and also in the way it aims to incorporate some familiar-house elements into its apartments. The main characteristic of the apartments is that because the building is situated in a broad piece of land, the units could be organized in a way that they all have cross ventilation (the transit area, stairs and patio is in the middle of the units, which are divided into two sets of four apartments). On the other hand, each of the apartments is divided in two levels, both with a terrace and a balcony closed in the front by a horizontal solar shading system, which protects them from the pedestrians view and also reduces solar gain. This open-air shadowed space acts as an energy-saver-cooler for the units in the building. Another interesting fact of the building is that all the units were thought as "little houses". Cars and people enter by the same place: a low platform with wooden floor, which serves as parking at night and as playground during the day... All of these spaces are semi covered, facilitating ventilation in all of the building's areas. The only closed interior space is the hall of each household.
The interior frosted glass divisions allow the light to pass from one room to the other and generate a reflections and shadows play that's usually more frequent in commercial shops. These are also in composition with the solar shadings and the exterior and patio glass facades, which all constitute a series of veils that allow different types of light during the day.
The project belongs to local Dieguez Fridman architecture studio, and was built between 2004 and 2006. "Along the XX century, some of the biggest household building projects in the city have proposed reflections or experiments over different problems, some related to houses and ways of living, and others more related to architecture's relation with nature, constructive systems, or climate. This project aims to go beyond the imposed regulations' limitations and needs to maximize economic profits that these initiatives have nowadays; to try and step towards this aim for experimentation", the authors say. ::Dieguez Fridman
Building apartments' plan, where you can see the middle space that allows cross ventilation.
The solar shadings, which protect the apartments from curious pedestrians.
The wooden parking/playground.
The back of the building, facing the pool.