White is a color: Leisure Facilities at Puertos. ―
Puertos is a new suburban development in the town of Escobar, in the Province of Buenos Aires, designed by Torrado Arquitectos. The project consists of 12 private neighborhoods of single-family homes, connected by a system of lagoons that, in turn, communicate with a large ecological reserve on the banks of the Lujan River. The central common area of the development includes mixed medium-density multi-family and commercial buildings with a school, medical and sports infrastructures. Each of the neighborhoods is structured around a sports club, open to all residents. The clubhouses cater to different sports, including, tennis courts, a soccer field, a recreational pool with a utility building for changing rooms, administration, social clubs, and a gym. The Marinas and Ceibos neighborhoods serve as the first prototypes.
The creates a system that is both a spatial and structural, creating a collective identity through the different buildings of the sports venues: The public buildings are a designed whole with a set of elements that can vary, finding their logical order in each case, according to specific needs.
The system is based on different interior and exterior space modules. Expanded galleries, patios, and terraces are cater to individual programs according to the orientation and landscape. The construction system is modular, with minimal material waste, with a structural grid of standardized profiles and exposed metal formwork slabs; the infill is double-walled, with full exposed brick panels on the outside, aluminum frames, and expanded lattice systems for natural ventilation. The buildings are precise, light, and measured, but at the same time flexible and indeterminate in their configuration, variable, modular, and open.
All public buildings highlight their construction details through matte white color, generating fine shadows and removing heat, which makes it a suitable bioclimatic choice. The steel structural frame, as well as the brick and aluminum infill surfaces, are all coated in the same white color, allowing the natural landscape to fill the voids with its endless hues and textures; those architectural voids are framed in all three dimensions, standing out prominently. White becomes the principal feature of the identity of the entire new town, marking the public character of the sports facilities, that will come into contrast with the private homes gradually covering the area of the development.
Though at first the architectural impression seems “international”, the new town is deeply rooted into its place in many more, subtle ways. Besides the obvious participation of the landscape inthe architectural composition, through the strategically oriented buildings that allow the nature of Argentina literally flow through, the choice of steel structural components directly alludes to the American Continent, with its paradigmatic Case Study Houses in Southern California of the 1950ies; this urban and architectural structure diverges from similar, earlier European examples of designed communities, relying mostly on reinforced concrete and other cement products. Finally, the rhythmical linearity of the buildings is consistent with the vastness of the flatlands surrounding Buenos Aires, inviting outdoor living, in closeness with nature.
Architectural Design: Torrado Arquitectos
Photography: Fernando Schapochnik, Javier Agustin Rochas, Gustavo Sosa Pinilla