Buenos Aires Apartments by Vazio S/A

The proposal of Buenos Aires 350 is to offer alternatives to the sameness of real estate projects prioritizing sustainability, small scale and smart economy. The shared car, the bike paths and the economy that serves many rather than few point to an architecture that consumes less and proposes more for the city: a new relationship between buildings and the street, a new ground floor concept, a revaluation of the common staircase and open areas. 

Buenos Aires Apartments

The project has apartments with private terraces and cross ventilation. The common areas are the strictly necessary, and the materials are basic and timeless. There is no fitness center, home office, bar lounge, baby care or kids club; but there are nine “houses” with sunny terraces. Always integrated into the rooms, they function as small backyards. 

Buenos Aires Apartments

The building has a much lower height than its neighbors and explores the side offsets in staggered plastic volumes. Despite the tall and serious neighbors, the staggering allows the sun to shine in all backyards. The nine apartments are all different from each other and, despite being compact, all units have optimized and unique layouts. 

Buenos Aires Apartments

Parking is green and open. The garage becomes a garden, an urban eye – or perhaps a playground or a living room! (See layout of the garage plan.) With the imminence of the autonomous car in the near future, perhaps car ownership will be unnecessary and garages will have to be transformed into multifunctional spaces. Hence, the room that in other buildings is an inhospitable and dark area, here is the entrance to a building integrated to the street.

Buenos Aires Apartments | Project Details:

  • Architects: Vazio S/A
  • Area:  Site Size: 360 sq.m. | Project Size: 832 sq.m.
  • Year:  2021
  • Photographs:  Leonardo Rodrigues | Daila Coutinho | Leonardo Finotti | Eduardo Eckenfels
  • City:  Carmo, Minas Gerais
  • Country:  Brazil
  • Cerrado House - at the foothills of the Sierra da Moeda

    Designed by Vazio S/A, the Cerrado House was built at the foothills of the Sierra da Moeda, a mountain range in the state of Minas Gerais. The three-bedroom house has a rooftop pool and a wide staircase that leads to the rooftop terrace. The rooms are right under the swimming pool and have views of the sierra, the Cerrado and its twisted trees. Louvers on the northern and western faces protect against the inclement sun.

    The play between function and form here is spontaneous and undogmatic: the ramps and stairs of the swimming pool are stamped onto the façades and shape the internal space. The employment of the programmatic source is made directly manifest: it is a strategy that explores the programme/form relationship as an inevitable correspondence.

    Cerrado House - at the foothills of the Sierra da Moeda
    Photograph © Gabriel Castro

    Performance Description

    Seeking the plasticity of basic architectural elements, the project also exalts this underestimated and threatened biome: the Cerrado. There is no landscape design: the house sits on natural terrain, whose immensity and vistas are best seen from the pool terrace.

    Cerrado House - at the foothills of the Sierra da Moeda
    Photograph © Gabriel Castro

    The Context

    The Cerrado is one of the country’s seven biomes and covers an area of 1.5 million km². It holds about a third of all Brazilian biodiversity, 5% of the world’s flora and fauna, and is home to the headwaters of the three largest hydrographic basins in the country (Amazon, São Francisco, and Paraná/Paraguay). It has a unique flora and stands out for its generously-spaced trees and low-slung brushwood, blending into a South-American variation on the African savannah and the European steppe. Given its ecological, geopolitical and cultural specificities, the Cerrado is considered the biome of national integration.

    Cerrado House - Swimming Pool
    Photograph © Gabriel Castro

    The soils of the Cerrado were once regarded as too acidic to farm. But since agronomists began applying industrial quantities of lime in the 1980s, these soils have been transformed. The Cerrado now produces 70% of Brazil’s agricultural output.

    In recent years, the rate of ecological destruction of the Cerrado has been twice that of the Amazon, and while the majority of the Amazon rainforest still survives, more than 60% of the Cerrado’s former 200 million hectares have disappeared under the plough, and most of that within the last two decades alone. It has been a black hole for conservation: only 2% of the ecosystem is protected. However, Brazilian agriculturalists and ministers still talk as if it had no conservation value at all.

  • Architects: Vazio S/A
  • Area:  320 sq.m.
  • Year:  2015
  • Photographs:  Gabriel Castro
  • City:  Sierra da Moeda
  • Country:  Brazil