Clara House in Caballito, Argentina by Tovo Sarmiento arquitectos | Yellowtrace

Clara House in Caballito, Argentina by Tovo Sarmiento arquitectos | Yellowtrace

Clara House in Caballito, Argentina by Tovo Sarmiento arquitectos | Yellowtrace

Clara House in Caballito, Argentina by Tovo Sarmiento arquitectos | Yellowtrace

Clara House in Caballito, Argentina by Tovo Sarmiento arquitectos | Yellowtrace

Clara House in Caballito, Argentina by Tovo Sarmiento arquitectos | Yellowtrace

 

How do you make a house feel open and light when you build right up to the boundary line using your neighbour’s walls as two of your own? In a city like Buenos Aires, where space is at a premium its crazy not to take up every spare square inch, so what’s the solution?

Well for starters, you take the plunge and devote a significant amount of your precious 7 m x 14 m plot and give it over to external living space, or courtyards in this case. Clara House, located in Caballito, Argentina, designed by Tovo Sarmiento Arquitectos, have cleverly accessed natural light by strategically placing courtyards on either side of their cuboid house. Filling the outside spaces with plants and luscious vegetation, some of which winds its way up the exterior walls, gives the project a grounded, lived-in feeling. The rooms facing onto these courtyards have been treated with full height glazed doors, with oversized black metal frames, capable of sliding completely open. The large glazed doors flood the interior with bright sunlight.

 

Clara House in Caballito, Argentina by Tovo Sarmiento arquitectos | Yellowtrace

Clara House in Caballito, Argentina by Tovo Sarmiento arquitectos | Yellowtrace

Clara House in Caballito, Argentina by Tovo Sarmiento arquitectos | Yellowtrace

Clara House in Caballito, Argentina by Tovo Sarmiento arquitectos | Yellowtrace

Clara House in Caballito, Argentina by Tovo Sarmiento arquitectos | Yellowtrace

 

It’s a super simple design. A box if you will – two sides facing the courtyards, the other two – the perimeter boundary neighbour’s walls. A simple white corrugated ceiling is the fifth side of the box and a travertine floor the sixth. There is a continuous flow between the interior and the exterior.

The first floor houses the kitchen and dining and those gobsmacking sliding doors. The top level houses the bedrooms and bathrooms. All second story rooms are accessible to the light well of the courtyards below, allowing the upper storeys to be equally as light and engaging.

But frankly, it’s the uber cool which we love; an ‘inserted’ box below the main box. The basement is essentially a reinforced concrete cube carved into the area under the house. It’s the space in which to create and think and be sequestered away from the world. The perfect place for Teresa Sarmiento and Nicolas Tovo to house their architecture practice.

 

 


[Photography by Cristóbal Palma / Estudio Palma and Pompi Gutnisky.]

 

About The Author

Susanna McArdle

Susanna has a background in Interior Architecture and a passion for writing. Based in Sydney, she has worked both in Asia and Australia designing. An avid writer, it’s hard to know what she prefers more, stringing words together or creating spaces. But one thing she does know, is that she loves doing the both together.

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