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House in the clouds, Córdoba, Argentina by MALVINA ZAYAT estudio de arquitectura

Project name:
House in the clouds (Casa en las nubes)
Architecture firm:
MALVINA ZAYAT estudio de arquitectura
Córdoba, Argentina
Gonzalo Viramonte
Principal architect:
Design team:
Natalia Lucía Ruiz Venicio
Interior design:
Built area:
106 m²
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Edgar Moran
Environmental & MEP:
Tools used:
AutoCAD, SketchUp, V-ray, Adobe Photoshop
Residential › House

MALVINA ZAYAT estudio de arquitectura: House in the clouds is located in a portion of native forest in Salsipuedes, 30 km from the city of Córdoba. Located in the central sector of the land, with its long side facing north, it appears as a white prism, levitating over the mountain and getting lost in the clouds. Access is via a cobblestone street that reaches below the house. The uneven terrain is used to house a battery of cistern tanks and car parking. The journey from there to the interior of the building is presented as an experience that begins in contact with the earth and ends in the air.

The stones of the terrain are arranged to form beds and steps, which culminate in the door of a hanging staircase. From there you begin to travel in the air, to the north gallery, where the reception of a sliding wooden door allows you to glimpse the interior. When opened, the incidence of light on the vermillion-colored wood paneling generates a scenography spatial experience that culminates in the heart of the home: the social area, in total communion with the mountains.

The house is organized linearly within a space of 18.50m by 5.50m, where an island of services, illuminated and ventilated from above, separates the social area from the private area. The entire south side is made up of a storage unit that gives thickness to the envelope and meets the functional demands of each space. Towards the north and west the house is fully open, generating an expansion of the interior activities towards the gallery.

The materiality of the project was defined jointly with the site study. The great unevenness of the terrain, its composition, the thermal amplitude, the absence of running water, the type of vegetation and its height, among other aspects, established that the construction system was mostly dry. In the workshop, a system was composed, made up of metal profiles, which was transferred in sequence to the site for assembly. The parts arrived ready to assemble, the main structure, the secondary structure, then the horizontal and vertical enclosure panels.

The only part that was developed wet on site were the foundations and the mezzanine slab, using a system of precast joists. This decision had to do with the need to accumulate heat in the mass of the slab when the winter sun enters the interior space from the north. A system of folding panels attenuates the winds in the gallery and filters the entry of sun from the west in summer. At the same time, it guarantees the security of the home when its users are not there.

The building on the outside is conceived with a clear geometry of a single material, which on the northern perimeter appears as a veil to the intermediate space (movable panels of deployed metal), while towards the south the perimeter is compact (panels composed of white sheet metal) with strategic perforations for cross ventilation. The color of the volume and its suspended arrangement establish an intimate dialogue with the sky and clouds on the outside. On the other hand, the interior spaces aim to merge with the environment, exploring the warmth of wood in ceilings, walls, doors and furniture. All solved with the same material, eucalyptus phenolic.

By Liliana Alvarez

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