Cerviño 4491, Ciudad Autónoma
de Buenos Aires, Argentina

+54 (9) 11 5042-1254


The building is located in the metropolitan area on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, it is structured around a central cloister to which all the units open. The aim is to blur the dichotomy between public and private spaces and instead a building with different intensities of intimacy was designed. Architecture is understood as a socializing artifact that must provide sites for the formation of micro communities. In this sense, collective housing and mixed-use buildings, such as COPA, are presented as great opportunities to be the stage, and part, of the development of these biological groups. The new ways of living that deconstruct the idea of a nuclear family that responds to the need to produce a certain type of subject that knows how to respond to certain production methods, push us to think again about the meaning of collective housing and community life. Housing must be more than the iteration with or without variations of a housing device for certain groups more or less heterogeneous, it is about everything that remains between those spaces no longer understood as private, but as spaces of high intensity of intimacy.

The ground plan of the building is a reinterpretation of a traditional form of architecture, the cloister, is designed following a rigorous module that is then treated freely to give movement and character to the building. Although a modern vocabulary is used, the aesthetic language is vernacular, which facilitates the construction with local labor used to this type of work. Common brick with different firings is used throughout the construction site in various ways, exploiting its expressive qualities. In the cloister, a square was built that took advantage of the existing vegetation and is presented as a public space for all the inhabitants of the community. The north corner is dematerialized to allow sunlight to flood the central space and a topographical operation allows spatial continuity, generating new situations and spatialities. The cloister is understood as one of the classic architectural forms, its parts and their construction logics are reconfigured with a modern vocabulary and responding to particular needs. The circulation galleries and the units open onto this central patio, giving it the character of a true public space for the gathering of the inhabitants.
This way of organizing the building makes it possible to take advantage of the particular characteristics offered by the land. COPA is built around the large existing grove, creating a mutually beneficial relation between the existing nature and the nature modified by the architecture. The building is nourished by the existing vegetation while at the same time protecting it. The landscape project or square was put together to generate an ecosystem that preserves the existing species and can house the species of birds that nest in them, as well as several species of insects. The planted vegetation accompanies the existing one and adapts to the climatic conditions of the region, facilitating maintenance and reducing the consumption of water and chemicals for its maintenance. The park has an on-site composting system that is used to organically fertilize the community garden that is located on top of the square. The construction system chosen, with double walls, double glazed windows, lightened subfloors, and eaves-shaped galleries, allows to considerably reduce thermal gains in summer periods and losses in winter periods, improving the thermal performance of the building.
The sector of the metropolitan area where the building is located is situated very close to the access highway to the city center and the train, the two most important communication routes in the region, each one used by a very diverse social sector. The project understands this very degraded but highly connected suburban reality to offer a way of life that is in the midst of congested city life and the sprawling vastness of the city. Medium-density buildings that do not generate overly large conglomerates but also do not represent huge expenditures on an infrastructure that must be spread out ever further to make room for private-lot suburban housing for the middle class. Thus, a medium-density city is imagined that does not represent an infinite urban sprawl with all the energy consumption problems that this entails, nor an extremely concentrated city that brings with it other types of problems such as the emergence and spread of diseases in populations that are too dense.
COPA is presented as a disciplinary reflection on contemporary ways of living, the role of the periphery, and the role of common spaces for the creation of micro-communities.

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  • Partners in Charge Arch. Juan Micieli, Lic. Manuel Micieli
  • Year
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  • Size 7.200 m2
  • Type Mixed Uses
  • Team Arch. Ignacio Molinari, Arch. Pedro Peirano, Gustavo Chaparro, Arch. Edgardo Rojas, Arch. Christian Naula, Arch. Patricia Tejera, Arch. Florencia Ferreyra, Arch. Alejandro Micieli
  • Services Provided MCL Development
  • Image Credits Federico Kulekdijian