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Jan 16, 2024Jan 16, 2024

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Text description provided by the architects. The "Labt-20" modules are part of a serial execution and workshop production system that can be modified and adapted to different climates and user needs by simply altering their size and some particular characteristics, adding comfort and services. They try to be compact buildings, with a little covered surface, versatile and surpassing the very trendy idea of "Glamping" by proposing much more than a simple shelter, from a small habitat to implant in extreme landscapes, such as the slope of a mountain, a forest, the edge of a lake or a river, etc., to a house or a tourist complex that feeds on these pieces of architecture and is completed with the necessary infrastructure, achieving balanced interactions with nature, flora, and fauna, and understanding architecture, its inhabitants and everything around them as part of a continuous and joint organism.

A whole series of systems are added to the modules in order to achieve a minimal footprint on the landscape; such as the bases, which are installed in a few hours and can be removed in the same amount of time, making the intervention in the territory respectful and even ephemeral; Or the lifting hooks, designed as part of the architecture and permanently linked to the building in case it needs to be relocated.

Within this catalog of parts, there are also elements of interaction with the site, such as springs, decks, walkways, and ramps, attempting to limit the intervention to a few square meters around the module and then preserve the landscape intact or even create a new landscape on the building with the green terrace.

This notion that may initially seem contradictory, a fusion with the landscape and the idea of nomadism as a principle, has everything to do with the way of inhabiting our native peoples; a system that adapts to the site, with elements from the surrounding landscape itself, but that also allows to be removed and relocated as part of a culture that seeks the best locations to generate temporary habitats while minimally altering the place of intervention.

The detailed study carried out on the ecosystem to be intervened and the adaptation of the piece to the particular conditions of it quickly translates into the manufacturing logic, seeking to bring "the workshop" closer to the different points where the modules will be located to generate local networks that allow us to nourish ourselves not only with the materials of the area but also with the workforce, organizing training and new job positions and thus strengthening small regional economies.

These ideas related to circular economy seek to use prefabrication, materials such as wood, and lightweight, self-supporting, and super-insulated construction systems such as SIP panels, as well as optimized relationships with climate, sunlight, and ventilation, conditions that allow for more efficient use of resources, both in manufacturing and subsequent use.

SIP panels and optimized relationships with climate, sun exposure, and ventilation conditions aim to make resource use more efficient in both manufacturing and subsequent use. Basic passive operational criteria such as cross-ventilation, the "chimney" effect, or the green roof seek to complete these premises according to the seasons and interaction with the climate. In summer, in each of the spaces, opening the windows accelerates the air entering, and with the opening of the skylights on the roof, the hot air inside is pushed outside, continuously renewing the building's climate and lowering the temperature.

In winter, the insulation on each face, the air chambers, and the materials of the window frames have been studied so that minimal heating, such as that generated by a wood stove, is sufficient to provide warmth to the entire interior.

These modules are completed with photovoltaic panels, geothermal heating and cooling systems, solar water heaters, and a range of appliances that optimize consumption and allow for total disconnection from infrastructure networks in extreme situations.

The Labt-20 described here is installed in the city of City Bell, in La Plata, Buenos Aires province, in a typical landscape of the humid Pampas, surrounded by crops and wooded areas. It corresponds to the 10.5-meter long and 31.5m2 surface model and functions as a permanent residence for one or two people, complementing the facilities of a large house at the other end of the plot while coexisting with the pool, barbecue area, and laundry as common areas. At the same time, it achieves total privacy by being installed near a small forest and about 100 meters from the existing complex.

It has a space for living and dining that also allows for adding one or two transformable furniture pieces into beds to accommodate more people, and a kitchen that is considered the only fixed element in the spatial distribution and, together with the bathroom, forms the wet area of the module. At the opposite end of the living area, there is a bedroom that is isolated from the rest of the spaces through the operation of a series of sliding panels that also integrate it privately with the bathroom.

On the exterior and through a sailor ladder on one of its sides, you can access the green roof and the viewpoint, completing the totality of the usable spaces.

As part of the additional systems already planned for the Labt-20, a ramp, and an exterior deck have been added to the program. The deck is associated with the large front window and serves as a patio, organizing outdoor furniture and providing access to the staircase that leads to the terrace without any contact with the ground, achieving a functional continuity between all the use spaces.

Benjamin Zapico