Studio Class at UC Berkeley
Studio Class at UC Berkeley

LIVING THE RIVERSIDE

This project was developed by Maria Eugenia Retamero as a student from Facultad de Arquitectura, Planeamiento y Diseño- Universidad Nacional de Rosario and was submited to the WAS awards 2017 under the Housing category.

In the southern area of Santa Fe’s Province, only 300km away from the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires, and over the east shore of the Paraná River, you can find Rosario City. Our city; whose limits end up generating a great portuary and fishery development, located over the margin of an extensive and vivid coast that makes this cosmopolite city, one of the most beautiful ones in the country.

As architecture students of the Faculty of Architecture, Planning and Design of the National University of Rosario, and being locals, we have been challenged to project a shortscale set of houses for the city, as part of our assignments in  fourth year.

The project could be summed up as a set of 10 independent houses, along with a room for multiple uses and common spaces located about the ravine of the Paraná River, next to Rosario-Victoria’s bridge. The site chosen is a potentially plain and extensive land, with three open fronts, a wide forestry, the river towards the east, the important Carrasco’s avenue towards the west, and a pedestrian street towards the south. These features required to think out how to develop a project that wasn’t invasive for the sourrandings, where the strenghts and potentialities of it could be exceeded, and which could also define fronts of hierarchy and limits towards the city, without giving the back to it while generating the privacy needed.

According to those premises, we decided to place the 6 houses of less surface, developed in two levels, on the west edge of the site, so as to be able to keep the barrial scale whilst marking its limits. To generate that, we opted for a kind of typology that allows a certain permeability between what happens inside and outside of the complex, without disregarding the sense of privacy we treasured.

Over the ravine, on the other side, we decided to place the houses with greater surface, also developed in two levels, burying a level with it, so as to prevent the visual to the river from being obstructed all over the complex.

Last, but not least, we developed  an area of parking, with a multipurpose room and changing rooms that marks out the limit of the site in its south extreme, continuing with the facade level and framing even more the entrance of the complex.

Next to the multipurpose room, we can find a swimming pool, over the ravine, with a direct visual to the river, which we decided to bury so as to preserve its privacy and achieve certain abstraction in the place.

We consider that the pillars at the moment of developing the process of projecting this set of houses were always trying to put visual overall, as we consider it the main feature of the site; as well as the proper conditions of sunlight and the disposition of the houses; the privacy needed, trying to fulfill unity without losing its condition of complex; respecting at the most the existing vegetation, allowing the project to be adapted to the land and not the other way around; and, at last, trying to create a sense of the whole as you walk around it, lacking certainty of what is coming  next, being able to generate a sense of abstraction so that once inside, the city could be left behind and one could be lost over the landscape.