The Casa Fenomenologica, in Argentina, designed by Estudio Botteri-Connell is a house built around a central courtyard with a different take on spatial arrangements. At the onset, the clients wanted a house that caters to both their private and public needs. It was decided to have two different types of spatial arrangements, with one strictly adhering to the traditional way like cooking, eating and sleep, confined to the family, whereas the other space was to be an informal layout for entertaining guests. The formal areas were divided into 3 enclosed zones, which were connected with the informal area opening onto the central courtyard space.
It was the need for openness that fostered the thought behind having a central courtyard, with galleries on the perimeter meant for leisurely purposes. The informal area was an open plan layout on a wooden deck that supports a wooden raftered roof with steel and wood posts. It is a multi-recreational area that divulges the space into enjoying outdoor activities with an open kitchen, sun bathing chaises along with a swimming pool. The use of a central courtyard helps in cooling the warm air that passes through the water body, and thus keeps the internal rooms cool and cosy.
The 3 rooms meant for living, cooking and sleeping are intended for the family and have been designed facing away from the courtyard with internal pocket spaces in between. These spaces help in easy circulation of air and keeps humidity from building up during the day time. Also, worthy of mention is the use of materials like reclaimed wood and stone floors and walls, which help in retaining the heat during the winter. It is good for radiation and is easy to maintain, as well. The house is a combination of interesting spaces, which bring both formal and informal zones under the same roof.
Photos by: Gustavo Sosa Pinilla