The Alamos House is a beautiful single family home situated in the Buenos Aires Province of Argentina. It offers a total of 195 square meters of living space but its design is quite different than that of any traditional, modern or contemporary residence. The main reason for that is the elevated structure.
The house was designed and built by Estudio Galera, a practice set of analyzing the effects natural light and surroundings have on architecture through experimentation and innovation. The studio enjoys revisiting and reformulating conventional architecture, gathering information and analyzing every problem from different perspectives in order to obtain the best results and to optimize the resources as best as possible.
This graceful single family home sits on a flat corner lot that measures 900 square meters but it doesn’t really touch the ground. The house is elevated from the ground and around 90% of the lot can thus remain free. This allows life and movement to go on undisturbed under the house.
The residence is supported by two pairs of leaning columns and a series of concrete walls. The overall distribution of spaces is designed to place the master bedroom and the playroom on the upper floor so they can enjoy the best views.
The ground floor has an unusual structure. This is where a compact and closed box is situated. It has no views to the exterior and its role is as a support element. The ground floor also contains the entry area, the service spaces, a lounge space and a barbecue grill area.
Upstairs is the master bedroom and its en-suite bathroom as well as a space which is most often used as a playroom but which can be easily transformed into a guest bedroom when needed. The playroom has sliding panels which make its design flexible. These two spaces are positioned toward the center of the house.
The upstairs level has large windows which offer panoramic views of the pine forest and these create a serene and relaxing ambiance. The lower level has its own share of beautiful views. In addition, this is where large open air spaces are sheltered under the cantilevers and between the leaning columns.
The interior is bright and open. The kitchen and dining space share the same open floor plan. With large glass windows and sliding doors on both sides, the ambiance here is very fresh and cheerful. The open areas are somewhere at the limit between indoor and outdoor, being sheltered by the columns and the roofs.
The materials used for this project are simple and include concrete, plaster for the inner walls, wood used for the floors and marble for the counters. The polished concrete floors add a touch contemporary industrialism to the space while the wood makes the décor look warm and inviting. These materials are nicely balanced throughout the spaces.
The design of the residence was challenging mostly because of the elevated structure. Everything had to be perfectly planned. Waterproof insulation was used extensively in combination with cellular concrete insulation. The glazed front facade to the West adds another beautiful element: a green curtain of plants from different species. Its role is to offer shadow, to add color to the décor, privacy, insulation and to also make the transition between the zones seamless and natural.