Pichincha’s Thick 2D
Located at the city of Rosario, Argentina, the Pichincha borough – historically known for its famous brothels, and now a cultural milestone – stands as a low-height residential neighbourhood just next to the city centre.
The project explores the possibilities of a Pichincha’s big lot in terms of generating urban life in dense programmatic combinations in the middle of the typical Rosario’s block. Stan Allen refers to this ‘Thick 2D’ when he says that:
‘The lessons of mat building in general […] have been internalized as a series of architectural objectives: a shallow but dense section, activated by ramps and double-height voids; the unifying capacity of the large open roof; a site strategy that lets the city flow through the project; a delicate interplay of repetition and variation.’ (Stan Allen, 2008)
The projective excercise begins by re-elaborating certain given strategic logics – the common circulation every two floors, the shape diversity of the facade – to develop them around the conceptual complexities of the Thick 2D. An orthogonal grid allows ventilation and natural lighting of the interspersed patios which articulate the common spaces of a free ground floor in a direct relation with the street. Under the theme of student’s residental complex, a library, a dining hall, some ateliers, a gym and even a outdoor cinema are the new elements that the building brings to the city, taking the limit between the private and the public to the centre of the block, at the vertical circulation cores. The footprint of the building at the ground floor returns then at the ceiling a park for the recreation of the residence inhabitants. The flux of social exchange is thought in this way in different levels of the mat building, incorporating time as an active variable in urban architecture.