An Intensely Contemporary Home

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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Today on homify we will travel to Argentina to explore a very austere contemporary home in the pine forests of Costa Esmeralda, outside Buenos Aires.

The home is surrounded by forest, but directly located in a dune that gently slopes towards the street. The property is exposed to intense sun and harsh winds and the owners wanted a low maintenance property to use only part of the year.

The architects Besonias Almeida built a three bedroom, single level home almost entirely constructed of raw concrete and timber. It has a unique layout with two separate building masses connected by a single corridor. This allows for a large and very private inner courtyard that can be accessed on both sides. The home is 153 metres square home and it's built on an 810 square metre site.

But it's the fierce, austere design and raw materials that really infuse this home with its unique, contemporary look. Even the wooden panels on the walls and rooftop have been used to create Japanese style shadow lines that shift and move throughout the day. Come with us to explore the interior.

Stunning geometric vantage points

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The unique passageway leading to the hidden entrance of this home has a stunning geometry. A series of timber and concrete panels have been used to create the Japanese style shadow art mentioned earlier. As the sun follows its path, the shadows shift and move to create ever changing, living geometric designs.

Contemporary raw concrete and timber facade

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We will step back for a moment to examine the whole facade. The home presents as a single mass, hiding the separate living areas. The facade is austere and constructed from concrete and timber. The front part of the home houses the sleeping quarters, so the Quebracho timber sleepers on the right are important for maintaining privacy.

Inner courtyard

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After passing through the corridor examined earlier, we come to the inner courtyard. This area provides multiple solutions for the family. The owners have three children with a large age range and they needed a home with lots of common spaces like this. Note how the floor to ceiling glass windows and doors allow for easy supervision of young children. The site is exposed to strong winds, so the building mass on the left has been used to create an important wind-break.

Unique integration of inner and outer spaces

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The raw textures and subtle colours of nature are a key inspiration in this home. Raw concrete covers the ceiling and timber covers the walls and floors. The furnishings are subtle and highly textured to provide a cosy living room. Note how the concrete shelf along the glass wall has been used to provide shade.

Double-sided glass walls

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The surrounding forests were a key draw for the family, so they wanted lots of outdoor areas. This side of the home has more vegetation so it's a little more shielded from the wind. With this social area of the home bounded on two sides by floor to ceiling glass, this is a home with a strong connection to the forest surroundings as well.

A raw concrete kitchen

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The raw concrete benches and shelves are combined with the stainless steel appliances to create a very austere grey kitchen. But it's also a family friendly kitchen. The kitchen island faces the main living area to make for a social cooking experience and the small eating nook is a nice touch for small children.

Unique transitional space

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As we move from the rear building to the front building, we pass through a unique corridor. The two building masses are placed at different levels to accommodate the natural slope of the dune—.45m to be exact. Here we can see how the smooth, sloping ramp has been constructed to link the two areas. The interlocking geometric shapes that make up the walls of the concrete and timber wall give the occupants a little privacy.

A calming earthy bedroom

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Here in the master bedroom we have a sense of the quiet, private calmness in this part of the home. The interior is rustic with soft blue textiles and richly textured wooden walls. But it's the location of the sleeping sectors that really defines the ambience here. This building has no glass wall connecting it with the courtyard and has a more private facade. The sleeping and socialising areas are completely separated!

If you are interested in forest homes, you'll love this Ideabook A Forest Home amongst the Tree-Tops.

What do you think of the idea of separating the social and sleeping areas of a home like this? We would love to hear in the comments field below.
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