The APS/ pablo senmartin arqitectos bioclimatic house in Villa Parque Siquiman, Argentina floats over natural vegetation with views of a distant lake. It’s a weekend house with a carefree, breezy modern feel. However, the house is actually the result of an in-depth study on the current construction problems in the Argentinian natural territory. It developed under the guidance of LEED v4 sustainable housing certification standards.
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The pandemic created more demand for remote work from homes in areas with a lot of natural beauty. Therefore, the architects created a house that benefits from its gorgeous environment but treads lightly.
To start, they wanted to develop a house that explores sustainability and bioclimatic models while incorporating the new country-city relationships of remote workers. Doing so, the architects attempted to create a home that was low impact in construction and on an ongoing basis. Construction work represents around 70% of global emissions and more than 60% of the use of resources.
As a result, the bioclimatic house is located in the mountains of Cordoba, on the banks of Lake San Roque. It is set in a region characterized by environmental fragility. There are periods of drought, large fires, a loss of native forest, lack of infrastructure, and territorial anthropic footprints that damaged the natural environment.
The first step to treading lightly came from placing a concrete foundation on the sloping lot with as little of the base touching the ground as possible. This allows natural vegetation to continue growing beneath the house. It also creates a natural airflow and water runoff beneath the structure. The house is accessed via a bridge at street level. Beneath the house, there is space for parking and even a meditation bench that sits open beneath the concrete foundations of the pool on the deck above.
Furthermore, a box sits on top of the foundation to create the body of the house that’s split into two levels. The first is used for kitchen, dining and living areas. Out the back, there is a terrace, solarium and the infinity pool. On the second floor is the main bathroom, bedroom, storage and a massage room and sauna that doubles as a small theater. Plus, there’s a home office space on a loft edge that looks over the main living area and back out over the pool to the lake.
Additionally, vertical wooden slats filter direct sunlight into the larger windows at the rear of the house. It also protects the windows from wind and rain. The vertical elements like these slats accelerate the view toward the surrounding landscape. This relationship between house and surrounding environment changes through the day.
On the other hand, the roof is a single-pitch roof made of ventilated sheet metal. It has a ceiling with double waterproof insulation and water lines that allow evaporation in the space to be evacuated. There is no perforation, allowing for rainwater collection into the technical room of the plinth under the home with zero maintenance. Sheep’s wool was used for insulation.
Floors are pinewood planted for the construction. Other low maintenance recycled materials were locally sourced for construction of the interior.
Photography by Gonzalo Viramonte