Casa Margarit by Pablo Castro of OBRA
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San Juan, Argentina

This addition to an existing house was built in the desert region of the Argentinean West at the foot of the Andes. The extremely dry climate is characterized by perennial clear skies of intense luminosity and scarce precipitation. To preserve the integrity of an existing garden in the back of the site, a new 18' high volume is placed between the street and the existing house.

A continuous gap wrapping around roof and walls separates the existing structure and the new volume, and brings in natural light throughout the house. The new high spaces in the interior contribute to comfortable occupation even in the middle of summer, when the hot air levitates near the ceiling well above the space of inhabitation below. On the outside, blackberry trees under the burning sun of the afternoon project perpetually changing shadows on the tall white walls of the house. These shadows are the only form of ornament afforded to the facade, a striking backdrop to the movement of natural light.