Offices and textile showroom for Pehuen
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ana Smud , Alberto Smud
architecture team : Sasha Molczadzki, Camila Jalife, Milagros Ratto, leila Matzkin, Fernando Primuchi. landscape team : Bulla. Illumination : Pablo Pizzaro. Interior design : Agustina Falcon. Equipment : Gentili
We approached the project around three spaces: the façade and the access area, clad in dark crude steel, functioning as a bellows that would allow a friendly transition between a densified, noisy exterior and a climate of calm and comfort for the members of the company and its visitors. On the other hand, the impact of the encounter with the white and luminous void, revealed as a resource of diverse experiences and artistic interventions based on textile design, the central nucleus of the company. And finally the stratified space, built as a shoring to the void, home for private activities.
In the adjoining property, two levels were built where the closed offices and workstations are located. The new construction is delicately juxtaposed without competing or fading. Large windows, high ceilings and open floor plans optimized for work mark the territory where creative thinking takes place.
The façade, facing the street, presents itself silently. Transparent and opaque at the same time, it is made up of reflective vertical splinters with an irregular rhythm, plastically working on its general reading. Behind, a terrace with great vegetation multiplies with the reflective game.
With a translucent configuration, the façade strips the building from its frontal perspective. When taking a distance, towards one of the sides, the mirror splinters reflect the lush vegetation of the patio, generating the sensation that the building disappears. Towards the other side, the opaque and deep splinters allow to present with forcefulness a solid plane.
Regarding the external contexts of the project, the chosen site maintains its particularities that conditioned the design: Due to the high population density, the noise and the profusion of retail and gastronomy stores, we concluded that the building should not attract attention from the street, subtly dialoguing with the environment and maintaining the existing urban profile, while the interior space should favor the construction of an intimate world.
In relation to the particular contexts of Pehuen the project and its spaces had to contemplate a particular dynamic of the company: its plasticity and openness to transform its projects and businesses based on the intense socio-economic changes in the region. And, along with this, they had to promote a more fluid work dynamic, which would enhance the creative processes and the freedom of the employees. We were therefore interested in rethinking the question of living in an office: taking into account that a person lives more itime at work than at home, it was necessary to reflect on the ways of inhabiting those collective work spaces, seeking the same degrees of individual freedom that would take place in a house. The place had to provide a potential space to be appropriated and used, assuming transformations and re-appropriations by all the members of the company in private experiences and also shared with clients. The challenge then was established in the need to be a space ethereal enough to contain this desired plasticity and solid enough to house hard administrative and commercial activities.
In relation to the impact of the project on the urban morphology, the design and the use of material and aesthetic resources in the facade promoted homogeneity on the block and, with an attentive gaze, the subtle plastic play that makes up the identity of Pehuen.
With regard to the work dynamics and the personal experiences of the members of the company, the spatial structure of free floors and large linked open spaces made possible transformations, new more dynamic forms of work, more spontaneous and fluid encounters and interpersonal relationships that were discovered through the development of unprecedented and heterogeneous activities.
Given the need to reposition the company in the world, the potential and versatility of its spaces, the construction of scenarios of openness and fluidity to creative and expansive processes promoted a strong image as a host, a catalyst for new international alliances.