Los Cardales Country Club thrives in a consolidated environment marked by uniform architecture and lush vegetation. Within this idyllic setting, the Cabin 192 project by architect Daniel Canda takes root, redefining the concept of suburban living and prompting us to contemplate the ethical dimensions of architectural choices.
Cabin 192 Technical Information
- Architects1-8: Daniel Canda
- Location: Los Cardales, Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Topics: Adaptive Reuse
- Area: 220 m2
- Project Year: 2021 – 2022
- Photographs: © Albano García
The project is developed in a very low-density suburban environment, with uniform architecture and lush vegetation as a distinctive feature.
– Daniel Canda
Cabin 192 Photographs
Cabin 192: A Timeless Transformation in the Heart of Los Cardales
The suburban landscape of Buenos Aires has witnessed the evolution of country clubs over distinct periods, each marked by its own defining characteristics. In the 1930s and 1940s, a select few clubs emerged, exuding exclusivity and centered around sports like golf and tennis. The 1960s and 1970s ushered in the expansion of the middle class, giving rise to a new wave of clubs, emphasizing weekend retreats. The term “Country Club” took on a broader meaning. However, it wasn’t until the 1990s that the concept of alternative or permanent housing within secure “Closed Neighborhoods” truly emerged.
The passage of time inevitably transforms society’s needs, demanding a reevaluation of our living spaces. When faced with this challenge, it’s tempting to demolish and rebuild. Yet, the ethical question looms large: Is there a higher duty to reimagine and repurpose rather than replace? For architects like Daniel Canda, this ethical inquiry precedes any economic considerations.
To create a space that allows for programmatic readjustment, the search began for an existing structure that possessed the simplicity required for transformation. The answer lay in a home designed by architect Horacio Iovine in the early 1980s. This pure volume, with its gable roof and a 9 x 9 square geometric plan enclosed by a wall box, became the canvas for innovation.
The existing building, while preserving the envelope, presented challenges due to its internal compartmentalization. To achieve a more contemporary space, the ground floor underwent a radical transformation. Interior walls were replaced by a single central concrete volume, unleashing a free-flowing floor plan. Upstairs, the gable roof made way for a flat roof supported by a lightweight metal structure, creating space for two additional bedrooms and a bathroom.
The interior was reimagined with open and flexible floor plans. On the lower level, a concrete core housing a toilet organizes four subspaces around it: kitchen, dining area, fireplace, and living room. The upper floor features a central structural corridor containing the staircase and bathrooms, while rooms on either side are defined by floor-to-ceiling furniture. This configuration allows for quick adaptability to evolving needs.
Simplicity and Connection with Nature
To accentuate and differentiate elements of the composition, materiality played a crucial role. The main volume dons a stone covering with horizontal joints, mirroring the dimensions of the original exposed brick and casting intricate textures of light and shadow. Above this stone plinth, a glass box rises, reflecting the surrounding vegetation and dissolving into the sky—a captivating spectacle, especially at night when the interior illuminates. Support volumes, one horizontal for service and one vertical for the water tank, clad in exposed brick, feature vertical joints accentuating horizontal lines. A harmonious gray palette unifies the entire ensemble.
The interior spaces celebrate simplicity and a profound connection with nature. Noble materials such as wood, concrete, and cement floors provide warmth and authenticity. Geometrically inclined equipment complements the minimalist aesthetic, creating a home marked by a degree of austerity that harmonizes with the natural surroundings. The choice of the term “Cabin” encapsulates this spirit perfectly, leading to the name Cabin 192.
The natural environment, featuring ancient trees and distant neighbors, inspired the concept of a suspended glass box, a playground of reflections. Inside, a seamless blend of absolute transparency and reflective surfaces conveys the notion of the exterior permeating the interior.
From a construction standpoint, achieving thermal efficiency was a top priority. A double-skin system with a ventilated interior air chamber, preserving the thickness of the 30 cm wall box, was implemented. The exterior boasts tempered glass with solar treatment, while the interior features hermetic double glazing. This combination ensures both thermal and solar efficiency, all while maintaining the essence of transparency and expansive views.
Cabin 192 Plans
Cabin 192 Image Gallery
About Daniel Canda
Daniel Canda is an architect with a diverse background from the University of Buenos Aires. With a strong commitment to education, he has been actively involved in university teaching since 1990 and currently serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Architecture Area at FADU (University of Buenos Aires). Alongside his architectural practice at Canda & Asociados, which specializes in urban collective housing, he has contributed to various projects in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires. His portfolio includes significant preservation efforts, notably the restoration and enhancement of the Basilica Nuestra Señora de Luján.
Notes & Additional Credits
- Project Office: Daniel Canda, architect.
Project Team: Bruno Rodini, Leonardo Celiz, architects.
Structural Engineer: Cesar Tocker, eng.
Electrical Contractor: Horacio Ferrando, eng.
Sanitary Contractor: SD
Thermomechanics Contractor: BP Instalaciones
Façade Engineering: Lerin