Moarqs is a Buenos Aires-based architectural practice which is seeking to challenge its own perception of design by expanding into different areas of the architectural field. In 2015, the firm delved into residential design with the completion of three tailored housing projects. We speak to Moarqs founder Ignacio Montaldo to find out more about these exciting projects and the challenges involved.
In 2015, you brought us three distinct housing projects. Is this your first time designing houses?
IGNACIO MONTALDO: This is my first time designing several houses at the same time and also designing the actual home of the client. Each work was developed through a close dialogue with the future inhabitants. My earlier work has been less personal and I have not collaborated directly with the client.
How did you have to adapt your design approach from your usual larger scale projects?
In the past, we have worked on projects of various sizes and uses but the real difference in this case was the direct communication between myself and the inhabitants throughout the entire design process as well as during the construction.
What were the main pressures of the projects and how did you respond to these?
Each project had its own distinct challenges, but each one shares certain characteristics with one another. For example, in the case of Lamas House and Loma Verde, though they are of different sizes, they both seek to generate an interior open space beyond the actual request of the client, structuring, as well as defining the outline of the house. The idea is more or less a reinterpretation of the patio.
Another example is the aspect of the wall depth used in the projects constructed in concrete; Lamas House and Hinrichsen Pavilion. The thickness of the walls created a depth that allowed for determination of the position of the windows in relation to the sun, as well as providing a secluded space within the wall for the sunshades.
You have a high consideration for the privacy of the users, how did you integrate privacy features into the design?
This was particularly the case with Lamas House. The house is situated in a country club, where the general idea is that each and every dwelling is a desolated structure surrounded by miles of open country. The reality is quite the opposite and the houses are seldom more than a few yards apart, making the want for privacy precarious. The concept of Lamas House is a direct criticism of this very aspect. The house seeks to create the feeling of infinite open space within its walls as this is the only solution to the paradox of not having the possibility to generate this sensation on the outside.
Which project is your personal favourite?
I have no personal favourite, as the houses are unique and the projects have challenged me each in their own way.
Loma Verde House
Loma Verde House
Photos courtesy of Javier Agustín Rojas(Loma Verde House) and Albano Garcia(Lamas House and Hinrichsen Pavillion)
Lamas House and Hinrichsen Pavilion were developed in association with Eugenio Ottolenghi arch.