Patagonian Luxury

A Beautiful Mountain House Surrounded By Gorgeous Lakes In Argentina

The Argentine Alric Galindez architecture studio has been active since 1995, working with special interest clients and promulgating an insatiable search for innovative contemporary ideas. Based in Buenos Aires and San Carlos de Bariloche and are famous for immense, experimental and ultra modern designs for areas with a breathtaking natural landscape, they have also won numerous international awards.

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Out of their impressive oeuvre, Casa CS remains etched into our minds here at The Plus. We love this work because of its character, and how it makes a striking impression into its surrounding mountainous landscape. Casa CS is stationed in one of the most incredible locations in the world. Indeed, this stunning work privileges the special particularities of its environment. Designed so as to simultaneously look out on the mountains and the Gutierrez Lakes in northern Pantagonia, it is raised on stilts to avoid the thick, fluffy snow.

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The thing about architecture is that it has a primordial role in the way people inhabit a space which conditions and affects their everyday life. Whether it involves the way in which people relate to each other, the dynamic in which they live the spaces or the manner in which they relate to their surroundings, by designing a project we are not just creating spaces, but generating experiences.

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What’s more, the transparent windows transport a feat commonplace to most modern architecture into a displaced environment. The juxtaposition between this bright open space, where from the outside one can see straight into a cosy, enclosed area, is enticing. It invites the outsider to desire shelter from a desolate, albeit beautiful, snowy region. Sharply peaked roofs that emit light from outside imitate the mountain tops, thereby providing practical as well as aesthetic joys to a beholder. All in all, Casa CS looks both luxurious and tightly conceived of.

We were overjoyed to catch the architects to find out more about the making of the project:

The Plus: Tell us about the inspiration for Casa CS.
Alric Galindez:
We had two main sources of inspiration for the CS house. The first one was the site. On our first visit there, it was inevitable to admire the frontal views. Intuitively one wanted to stretch all along the site and take ownership of the horizontal landscape, hence the horizontality of the house. On the other hand, the lifestyle the owners had inspired the disposition and relation between spaces. The way they lived their social life and interest in art, led to the open space on the ground floor, the connection with the lower level and the exterior.

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TP: How long did it take to design?
AG:
The design process took about 8 months. We are constantly going over the design and studying it with the owners who live in New York. We believe it takes some time for any project to truly mature. Not only for us, but also along the design process owners start to decipher what they really want. They start to analyze their lifestyle and relationship with space, so they start getting a clearer idea of how that lifestyle will finally materialize in a new house.

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TP: What were the difficulties of constructing for this altitude and mountainous environment?
AG:
We consider altitude and environment as design facts, rather than difficulties. Actually, the unique site and conditions trigger our design process. They inspire not only how the house will look like, but the way the house will be lived in.

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TP: What’s your favourite aspect of the design?
AG:
We see the house as a whole. It is quite hard to divide it into parts to analyze individually. We guess what we like the most is the way all of the elements of design work together to create one experience. The way the house relates to the outside, the way people live the spaces in relation not only to the interior but to exterior.

TP: What are your expectations for the project?
AG:
is very satisfying to see the spaces being lived the way the way they were intended to. Seeing the owners enjoy the house and believe that the spaces are perfectly designed to fit their lifestyle is very gratifying.

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TP: Tell us about yourself and artistic background.
AG:
We have always been very interested in art, especially land art. Intervening in nature, creating spaces and experiences is something we have always been attracted to. However, we are inspired by everything, from paintings, to films, and experiences. It is hard to isolate one inspiration; the sum of all of them is what motivates us. They linger in our unconscious and they all materialize and affect our design process.

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Collaborators: Alfredo Quiroga, Sofía Peluffo, Joaquín Adot
Structural Engeneer: Ing. Susana Marconi
Instalations: Gaviño, Nieto, Beverati, Ansaldo
Construction: Zapata y Canale
Site area: 3655m2
Covered area: 525.21m2
Covered exterior area: 42m2

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