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House Built with Focus on Day and Night Lighting

The Batin House by Estudio Galera Arquitectura is located in Pinamar, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina on a corner lot surrounded by a pine forest. The design of the home revolved around three conditions; the first was that it should be lifted up from the terrain so as not to modify its original contours, the second was for the home to present a private facade towards the street while at the same time opening the home up to the views within the site itself and the third was to create a home with minimal maintenance costs. The architects did this by designing the home in two overlapping boxes that created an “L” formation with the social zone on the length of the L and the private volume on the higher short end of the L. The architects additionally designed the home with a series of different repeating voids in the facade to create varying ways for the natural daylight to penetrate the volumes while at the same time offering as much privacy as possible.

During the day, the front of the home blends peacefully within the pine trees in large part because of the vertical voids and by the staggered profile of the various geometric volumes used within the profile of the home.
At night strategically placed lights highlight the trees while interior lights expose the inner volumes, but even here, the uplighting on the trees allows the home to settle into its landscape.
On the main level a double concrete wall with expanded polysterene core was projected to serve as a thermal heat and noise insulate as well as to create privacy for those within. Centred on this main facade are long, rectangular access pavers that lead to a low brick wall in front of the main entrance.
The entry area is lit at night by uplighting aimed at the low brick wall and by down lights on the ceiling of the covered entry.
The covered entrance has circular voids cut into its ceiling – one of which has a pine tree growing through it. These voids create disc shaped sunlight motifs that move across the entry through the course of the day.
A second entry is around the corner via the semi covered garage. Both street frontages allow natural light to penetrate the inner core by use of wooden louvers and bars of concrete.
Directly to the left of the entry, bars of concrete separated by tall, narrow glazings, repeat the look of the pine trunks while letting natural daylight to penetrate inside during the day and light to pour out at night. Strategically placed spot lights also create directional light along the grass in the evenings.
At night the exterior is lit with artificial light both inside and out, even the garage has had carefully chosen light moments created around the structural “V” post.
The structural “V” and the “X” shaped directional lights play up the geometry of the home, as does the long linear directional pavers leading to the garage and to the front entry.
The unobstructed white painted brick volume within the garage shelters the grill and other services, while at the same time closing the view to the neighbours without touching the rest of the construction.
On the other side of the garage is a backyard pool, creating its own play with natural light as reflections from the pool’s water dance across the various planes of the home.
a terrace runs the length of the home between the pool and the interior social zone while a roof overhang, filled with voids offers both sun and shade to the terrace below.
While the living room overlooks the pool, the dining room is positioned next to it and the stairwell leading to the upper volume closes of the view to the pool. The kitchen next to the dining area looks out over the street.
The exterior wall of the dining room features light lenses in the rough concrete. This was created by the holes created in the concrete formwork by threaded rods used to hold the formwork. These holes are now reused to hold bars of acrylic that carry the sunlight to the inside during the day.
The stairwell is a closed space with wall facing into the home covered in floor to ceiling cabinets for the kitchen and dining areas. An island holds the cooktop while the sink is located on the window wall next to the bar.
The bar is designed as one long cantilevered counter with windows above and below. The kitchen is a sleek minimalist design punched up with moments of red – even in the kettle.
While the private zones are located on the 2nd storey, one bedroom and one bathroom are on the main level creating easy access to anyone with difficulty navigating stairs.
While the stairwell is a closed zone the 2 storey’s of windows keep the space light and bright as does the lighting built into the wall.
The wall lighting is fitted into a niche below the handrail and into the niches on the opposite side.
Upstairs 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms face out over the pool and pine forest with outdoor access via decks.
A roof overhang above the bedroom decks is fitted with a series of lights for night time enjoyment.
Through the use of voids, daily games of light and shadows are created for an ever changing display of light both day and night.
Estudio Galera Arquitectura
Photography by Diego Nedina – dcfotografia


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