La Marina House / Besonias Almeida Arquitectos

Architects: Besonias Almeida Arquitectos
Area: 290 m²
Year: 2024
Photographs: Hernán de Almeida
Lead Architects: María Victoria Besonias, Guillermo de Almeida Colaboradores: Micaela Salibe, Gisela Giovannetti, Hernán de Almeida
City: Buenos Aires
Country: Argentina

La Marina House, designed by Besonias Almeida Arquitectos, is located in Costa Esmeralda, Buenos Aires, an area known for its scenic dunes and young forests. This exposed concrete home is built to accommodate a family of four and up to 12 guests, providing a blend of privacy, durability, and low maintenance with a focus on social spaces and outdoor activities.

La marina house / besonias almeida arquitectos

Casa La Marina is situated in Costa Esmeralda, a private development on the dunes of the Buenos Aires coast, 390 km from Buenos Aires and 13 km north of Pinamar. This urban complex has significant landscape value, featuring native grasslands alongside young reforestation of acacias and maritime pines, while preserving certain areas of the established forest.

The irregularly shaped plot is bordered by two streets and is elevated between 1.5m and 2m above them and the neighboring lots. This height difference, while making access challenging, ensures sufficient privacy without requiring additional measures regarding public space and neighbors. The plot’s privileged location includes a construction-free area between the back of the lot and the adjacent property, featuring a significant young grove that guarantees good views and enhances privacy.

During the first meeting, the clients, familiar with the noble qualities of exposed concrete, expressed their desire for a house entirely built with this material, including a significant portion of the furnishings. While they left it to the studio to decide whether to break this extreme uniformity by incorporating other materials that could contrast in color and texture with concrete, they emphasized that their choice should ensure minimal maintenance.

The clients specified that although their family consists of a couple and two young daughters, the house should accommodate 12 people. Their goal is to share the home with friends throughout the year and occasionally rent it out. To this end, they emphasized the importance of including a bedroom and bathroom for service staff, a storage area for a vehicle and beach items, ample semi-covered spaces for outdoor activities, and parking for two cars. Given the total construction limit of 300m², they suggested designing only two bedrooms for matrimonial use (one with a private bathroom) and the rest as minimal spaces with bunk beds. This approach reserves the largest possible space for the social area, the key feature in vacation homes.

La marina house / besonias almeida arquitectos

To address the significant elevation difference between the lot and its surroundings, the proposal divides the house into two rectangular prisms arranged on half levels and connected by gently sloping stairs.

The volume facing one of the streets is elevated above the access platform, which is situated 1m below the upper level of the terrain to reduce the height difference and allow vehicular and pedestrian access via a ramp and small staircase. The garage and entrance hall are located on this platform, along with the storage area and service room, defined by a volume of quebracho wood boards that do not reach the ceiling. This approach, combined with the structural design of supporting the entire volumetric form with just four columns, emphasizes the idea of a suspended exposed concrete prism marking the entrance. The bedrooms and bathrooms are located in this elevated volume, featuring controlled openings to isolate the most private sector of the house from the public street and social areas. All furnishings—beds, shelves, storage spaces—are made of concrete, per the client’s request, to minimize maintenance and replacement needs.

The second prism, housing all the interior and exterior social activities, rests on the natural terrain and connects to outdoor spaces through generous openings. These openings allow enjoyment of the surrounding landscape and the proposed landscape within the plot.

La marina house / besonias almeida arquitectos

The formal simplicity of the volumetrics is disrupted by two design elements. First, the rotation of the side surfaces of the two prisms aligns them with the longest front of the lot, creating distortions in the orthogonality of the interior spaces and altering the perception of the overall volumetrics. Second, the folding of the roofs allows zenithal light to enter, resulting in multiple spatial perceptions depending on the sun’s path.

La marina house / besonias almeida arquitectos
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Project Location

Address: Buenos Aires, Argentina

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