The traditional residential typology that defined the fabric of Buenos Aires in the 19th century is called casa chorizo or ‘sausage’ house, an inheritance from the Italian immigrants who adapted the classic Roman floor plan to a new urban reality.
Inspired by this typical Porteño typology and nestled in a corner of the affluent Buenos Aires neighborhood of Bajo Belgrano, Corner House is the latest residential creation by Dieguez Fridman, the award-winning local architectural design firm founded in 2000 by Tristán Dieguez and Axel Fridman.
This single-family house sits in a relatively small urban site of 9m x 16m. The architects’ goal was to transform this horizontal arrangement into a vertical one, preserving some of the traditional typology’s key conditions; a sequence of indoor and outdoor spaces, where daily family functions can unfold, and which gradually leads from the most public to the more private areas.
'Through the combination of terraces, courtyards and split levels, we provided light and intimacy to the interior spaces,' says the team, who has ongoing projects in Argentina and New York City. 'While working with splits levels was the best tool to accommodate all the functions of the house in such a narrow plot.'
The main challenge facing the firm was the plot’s modest size. The site measures only a rough 147 sq m and is affected by strict building code limitations in terms of height. The architects worked their way cleverly around these restrictions and managed to create a home fit to cater to its resident family of four.
The Corner House is equipped with a garage for two cars, four bedrooms (including a housekeeper’s room), three bathrooms, an ample open plan social space – living, kitchen and dining room – and an underground play room facing the lush patio created by landscape designer Ignacio Montes de Oca. A swimming pool on the terrace tops the construction.
The carefully crafted design marks a strong contrast between its dynamic contemporary style and a warmer and inviting interior atmosphere. The mixed material palette includes naked concrete with 3-inch-boards formwork, a trio of woods (Quebracho sunshades, Incienso interior floors and Lapacho for the outdoor deck), a black aluminium window wall system and glass.
The house’s concrete volume comes off the party wall creating a gap that brings light into the living room and stairs. The sun beams flow in and bounce on the glass railings to generate a playful effect that changes through the day.