House on the beach @ Villa Gesell, Argentina

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We can talk about concrete buildings all day, but how often do you find a house that is entirely made of our favourite material?

Argentinian architecture firm BAKarquitectos has split up in the end of 2012 and formed two separate design practices: Luciano Kruk and Besonías – Almeida. Today I will introduce you to a project they accomplished in the times when they were still together. This raw and rustic building on the Argentinian coast is placed on bare sand, and the only materials used – other than the windows of course – were wood and concrete.

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All photos © Guillerme Morelli

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The spacious, wood-covered terraces feature views of the Atlantic Ocean, and as it turns out, this was not that easy to achieve, even so close to the beach: “The land is near a house of big size which clogs in some parts the views to the sea.The rest of the views, free of near buildings, allows the enjoyment of small vegetation, acacias and tamarinds, that overlooks the sea on one side and the forest insinuates on the other. The land has the particularity to present, in the center and along its length, a 3 meters crest elevation in relation to their sides. This singularity and the need to elevate the building over the natural line of the lot to gain sea views were fundamental issues in the proposal.” – say the architects.

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The lucky clients are a young and big family: a young couple with 3 children. They were asking for a concrete building, as its maintenance costs are supposedly minimal, and because they liked the previous designs of the firm. The design was to be realized in two stages: first the family’s bedrooms and shared spaces were to be built, and later on they added an area for guests.

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The impressive concrete staircase is located in a stategic point of the house: it is the division between the two main cubes and also marks the entrance. On the elevated ground floor, it stands as a sculpture in the massive space of the combined kitchen-dining-living area.

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All photos © Guillerme Morelli

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In this house, concrete was not hidden anywhere. The floor, the ceilings, the wall, the staircase – they were all made of concrete. The architects used a polished and waxed concrete surface for the floors, but the rest of the structure has been left raw, resembling the rustic planks of wood used for the jalousie.

These wooden planks seem to have remained in the house, as we can see them in the garage door, the living room furniture, and even in the yard, where they lyrically substitute the concrete pavement and stepping stones.

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