“My family wants a new life on the land where our home once existed.” The idea was simple: to build a series of apartments while maximizing the space on the unusually shaped lot. To maximize view the apartment on the top was to use the entire floor plan. Typically, what creates apartment limits is the number of cars that can be fit in the garage. Since each apartment by code had to have a certain number of parking spots. The estimated maximum was 8 apartments. The difficulty of the lot was proven by the triangular form and the game of Tetris that had to be played with the car parking in order to fit the maximum amount. Also, while maximizing the amount of light in each apartment and create strong visual relationships between the units and the outside where a brook passes by.
“The goal,” he continued “is to collaborate with my family and give them the greatest number of units without creating a disconnection with the site.” Integrating nature in every apartment was the utmost goal in this project. Medellin has a strong mix of greenery and urbanism, and we wanted to saturate each space with its beautiful light and air. Giving them a clear spatial solution that leads to clear savings in both time and money during construction.
The building has a total of seven floors, five floors of units, and a garage on the ground and basement levels. The second floor accommodates a lobby and the first apartment. Leaving two apartments on all the other floors except for the penthouse which has the entire floor accommodated with full height full width windows. Geometrically the solution was solved by pushing the stairwell to the back of the lot and allowing lot line coverage for each of the units. Leaving the units with the most amount of light. However, natural illumination of the stairs and the garages was still a necessity. A lightwell was created beside the staircase to channel light down into the garages and creating a “Jesus light” from the top illuminating all the stairs in tandem. Each space in the apartments has direct light while maintaining connection with the outside. The façade has a visually heavy base to reinforce the use of concrete block and brick by using two colors. The body of the building, where the two apartment floors are, and the capital, where the penthouse is, form a complete window from side to side.
A simple geometry can allow an ordinary building to be a successful building by intelligently catching the most amount of light possible to the interior while maximizing square footage to the user. The right use of geometry is one of our best allies when designing any building. The necessity of light as living organisms is a principle, we believe is essential to achieve in every space. Living beings are more productive with ample natural light, ventilation, and access to the outdoors. The conjunction of the geometry and good lighting makes smart spaces. They provoke the expanding of the body, mind and soul.
Involving your own family in projects is almost always a difficult yet rewarding task. In this case the culmination was an outstanding project with simple solutions to design a unique building attached to the site.
Cra. 65D #34b-27, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
1,800 SQ. M.
Residential New Construction