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Edificio de departamentos en la calle Virrey Avilés

Juan Campanini-Josefina Sposito

Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

July 2022


Josefina Sposito (Project Design and Management), Juan Andrés Campanini (Project Design and Management)


Julia Yabkowski (Project Design Assistant), Valentina Lucardi (Project Design Assistant)


Fideicomiso Virrey Avilés


Javier Agustín Rojas


The project poses an attitude towards the city. It thinks about the urban form through every scale of its architecture — from the detail, to the facade, to the city — assuming the role of every building as a primary actor in the construction of the common.
The apartment building on Virrey Avilés St. introduces the facade as an autonomous project within the general one. Building in the city implies being in touch with other projects, other constructions and architectures. Following this premise, the facade’s project carefully defines its limits and outlines to stand separate from its neighbors, while assuming its condition of being a fragment of the collective urban space.
Made with pieces of anodized aluminum cladding, the facade creates an homogenous surface completed by twelve windows. A subtle displacement in the position of its openings refuses the reading of the front as a grid and enhances its superficial condition. Moreover, this behavior is emphasized when seen foreshortened and the cladding minimum thickness arises, performing as a falling veil that covers the building’s front and hides its interior organization. There are no proper hints of what is happening inside, just one unified and plain image towards the street.


The housing building on Virrey Aviles St. is a three-story-building located in the residential neighborhood of Colegiales in Buenos Aires, Argentina. While set in a triangular block, unconventional in the strict square block structure of the city, the building’s plot responds to the typical 8.66-meter-wide front, the most repeated lot in Buenos Aires. Despite being a city organized by a regular grid of blocks each one divided in plots with similar dimensions, the landscape of Buenos Aires does not behave as an homogeneous mass. Instead, we like to read the city as a collective landscape made of independent fragments (or buildings) ruled by different regulations and aims that come together as a collective project on the building lines, by the continuous surfaces of distinct facades. Our project on Virrey Avilés St. is a new fragment of the city landscape.
The presence of small plots all along the city has an impact on its material development. It results in a city full of opportunities for mid-scale projects, becoming an attractive opportunity for young practitioners to design and build thanks to a legal tool called 'fideicomiso'. The project was developed using this financial instrument which consists in bringing together small groups of middle-class people aiming to invest their savings in owning a home, marginally to the Real Estate’s voracity. In the context of Argentinaʼs lack of long-term bank loans and large-scale public investments, this alternative system allowed us to face the owners' necessities while participating on every stage of the project.


While the facade dialogues with the city scale, a 2-meter-high wall stands loose on the building line, hosting the cars gate and the main door. When the street door opens, an intimate and collective inner atmosphere emerges. The free open ground floor is disclosed, only interrupted by a small volume that contains the elevator, the basement stairs and ducts. In the background, between two green gardens, a concrete staircase stands. Its generous elevated landings become the center of the common space, structuring people’s interaction while organizing the entrance to two units per floor.
Each apartment is preceded by a small terrace that serves as an in-between space, an extension to the apartments’ interior and, at the same time, a continuity of the space for communal exchange. Inside, each typical plan is organized symmetrically by a central core strategically positioned three meters behind the building facade. Hosting the unitʼs bathroom, kitchen and wardrobe, this condensed programmatic piece is detached from the building front, preventing it from being seen from the street.
The apartmentʼs space goes from the back front to the city façade, being enclosed by two different kind of public spaces: the private/shared courtyard, mediated by the terrace, and the urban landscape, framed by two large windows.

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