córdoba-based studio santiago viale arquitecto completes a bold concrete-built house along the flat terrain of villa allende, argentina. the dwelling, photographed by gonzalo viramonte, is oriented toward the east and is surrounded in all directions by lush trees. the design of the project was driven by an ideology which rejects decorative ornamentation and prioritizes raw, exposed materials. while the exterior is expressive of its concrete and steel structure, the interiors are finished with warm, natural wood. each of these materials are presented with respect for their natural tones and textures. while the concrete along the exterior is not covered with a secondary finish, it maintains a rhythmic texture resulting from the structural wooden form work.

santiago viale allende
all images by gonzalo viramonte | @gonzaloviramonte



upon approaching the santiago viale-designed ‘villa allende’ house, the occupant is received by a succession of concrete plates. these elements serve to filter the natural sunlight, throwing dramatic, rhythmic shadowing across the floor and walls — an effect which varies and shifts with the changing hours of the day and the times of the year. to the interior, sunlight enters the space in a range of ways, and can be appreciated form most places in the house. in the living space there are two different approaches to light — one being the use of ribbon-like skylights overhead the built-in shelving. this lends an ambient glow off of the warm wooden surface. the second method of natural lighting is a low, horizontal window at the level of the floor which generates a visual connection with the shadowed yard of loose stones.

santiago viale allende



santiago viale designed the project with a continuous pulse between plan and site. natural sunlight penetrates the center-most interior space and is used as ‘matter,’ carrying the same weight as the concrete itself. drawing influence from modernist master le corbusier, the design team strategically clips the landscape — the team recalls: ‘in order for the landscape to narrate, it must be limited, dimensioned… and uncovered only in some strategic spots.’ this strategy is most perceived along the edges of the hallway at the ground level and at the stair where the landscape is framed within the wall as if it was a painting.

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project info:


project title: villa allende

architecture: santiago viale arquitectos

location: villa allende, córdoba, argentina

lead architect: silvia baistrocchi (TECTUM)

design team: agustina pezza, sofia ariño, florencia esteban, tito gonza, eduardo storaccio, consuelo salcedo, juan macías

collaborator: santiago viale beviglia

completion: 2020

photography: gonzalo viramonte | @gonzaloviramonte