photographer: © Gustavo Frittegotto
The View House is designed under conditions generated by both the potential and limitations of large suburban developments. Situated on the vast landscape of the Argentine plains, the 3200 sq foot house occupies a 22,750 sq foot parcel. The design is driven by two conflicting desires: engaging the living experience of the house with the views of the landscape and preserving privacy from neighbors.
Planning demands and the unique position of the peripheral lot resulted in a compact massing strategy with a minimal footprint that liberates and preserves the ground. By denying the traditional front, side, and rear yard designations, the perception of the house unfolds in a continuous sequence of surfaces where every façade becomes primary.
The formal and tectonic complexity of the house results from four basic geometric subtractions at the corners of a primitive mass that create an exterior shape perceived simultaneously as embedded and lofted, cantilevered and slumped. In the interior, these operations define a continuous space that spirals upwards from the ground level to the roof terrace in a sequence of living areas. The four subtractions have differentiated volumetric impressions, each of which, together with the contiguous aperture, results in an interior landscape of paired surfaces and lighting effects.
The strategy for the apertures is derived from the framing of desirable landscape features, the anticipation of neighboring developments and the choreography of internal circulation. Varying in height, orientation, and depth, each framed opening captures a distinct view, providing alternating relationships between interior and exterior.
The rough concrete shell of the house was built using traditional local techniques, and its finish retains the impression of its construction. In contrast, the interior of the house is smooth and polished in nature.
As a culmination of the internal circulation along a path of 360º, a flight of steps leads up to a panoramic roof deck, from which the expansive surrounding landscape can be perceived from a new height.
Design team: Architects: JOHNSTON MARKLEE / DIEGO ARRAIGADA ARQUITECTO
Principals-in-Charge: Mark Lee, Diego Arraigada
Project Architect: Sharon Johnston AIA
Project Team: Juliana Esposito, Jeff Adams, Pablo Gamba, Nazarena Infante, Nadia Carassai, Anne Rosenberg, Anton Schneider, Amalia Gonzales
Project partners: Developer: Lucas Ma (President, Markee LLC)
Structural Engineer: Estudio Garibay