Moveable Screens Let the Owners of This Prefab Home Adjust Light and Airflow

A row of perforated panels form a see-through barrier along the Argentinian retreat’s western-facing patio.

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Project Details:

Location: Córdoba, Argentina

Architect: Malvina Zayat

Footprint: 1,140 square feet

Builder: Christian Valverde

Structural Engineer: Edgar Moran

Photographer: Gonzalo Viramonte

From the Architect: "House in the Clouds is located in a portion of native forest in Salsipuedes, 20 miles 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.

"Stones are arranged to form beds and steps that lead to a hanging staircase. Here, a sliding wooden door opens onto the social area of the home. It is organized linearly, with the social and private areas separate. 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. Toward the north and west the house is fully open, generating an expansion of the interior activities towards the gallery.

"The materials were defined by 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 toward 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."

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