Urban Refuge Studio House / Estudio Berzero Jaros

Architects: Estudio Berzero Jaros
Area: 165 m²
Year: 2016
Photography: Federico Cairoli
Lead Architect: Agustín Berzero, Valeria Jaros
Structural Engineering: Edgar Moran
City: Córdoba
Country: Argentina

In Córdoba, Argentina, Estudio Berzero Jaros has ingeniously transformed a modest 9 x 16-meter plot, situated adjacent to Arroyo La Cañada, into a dynamic urban refuge. The 2016 project emphasizes the renovation of existing urban fabric and infuses a high-density area with innovative architectural solutions. The design strategically utilizes vertical space across three levels, enhancing functionality while respecting the integrity of the surrounding built heritage. By prioritizing sustainable urban growth, this intervention not only conserves infrastructure but also enriches the spatial quality of the area.

Urban refuge studio house / estudio berzero jaros

In the central area, closely linked to Arroyo La Cañada, a 9 x 16-meter plot presents a challenge to establish a small urban refuge. The intervention focuses on revitalizing the existing urban fabric found in many of the city’s residual spaces. It aims to contribute to curbing the city’s sprawl by leveraging existing services and infrastructure to enhance the built heritage.

The design originates from an existing spatial structure that nearly occupies the entire plot. The process begins by gradually reducing the building’s mass to define patios that organize the layout, where traces of the former structure are spatially evident through the ground floor’s scale.

Urban refuge studio house / estudio berzero jaros

The concept evolves vertically, structuring the program into three stacked levels. A flexible ground floor, anchored by two patios, establishes an “architecture study” workspace that supports cross ventilation and ample indirect light. This level includes a compact service block with a kitchen, bathroom, and storage, allowing the workspace to function independently.

The first level unfolds as a social hub, integrating living, kitchen, dining, and terrace areas that open expansively to the north. A loft-style mezzanine above hosts the private quarters, designed as an open bedroom with potential future expansion for additional rooms.

Urban refuge studio house / estudio berzero jaros

The building materializes through two construction logics. The ground level incorporates traditional methods and reinforces the existing structure with two exposed concrete beams. These beams support an upper box constructed using a simplified technique to alter ceramic brick, which maximizes light penetration.

Urban refuge studio house / estudio berzero jaros

The plot’s perimeter is encased with ceramic brick, strategically cut to form a 7.80-meter high and 11 cm thick screen. This screen not only defines the architectural expression but also ensures security, maintains privacy and creates a high-quality spatial ambiance.

Urban refuge studio house / estudio berzero jaros
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Project Location

Address: Córdoba, Argentina

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