Casa B - Beta Competition
Built space

B House

Project description

The building is located in the northern area of Timișoara, on a plot with an irregular shape and an area of 491 square meters. being located in the narrowest part of the plot. From a functional point of view, it is a two-family house with a ground floor and one floor, one apartment facing the garden and one facing the street. The shape of the house is rectangular with the cantilevered floor over the ground floor towards south allowing therefore the passage of car and pedestrians from the street to the garden. The access in the house is also from the south side for both apartments, through two separate entrances. Inside, near the entrance, the cooking area and the dining area are grouped, and next to them is the living area. Upstairs, the two apartments have been differentiated, one having a bathroom and two bedrooms, and the second one having a bathroom and three bedrooms. The railing of the stairs leading to the first floor also serves as a storage space. The main aspect that influenced the design of this building was the combination of several structural materials to be able to meet both the requirements imposed by the urban context and the site, but also the structural needs and requests of the beneficiaries, who in the case of House B, were also the architects of the project. On the ground floor, a U-shaped reinforced concrete structure was chosen. The link between the ground concrete U form and wooden first floor was made using three steel beams, placed transversally and sustaining a continuous cantilever of more than 3 meters. The whole structural solution was developed also taking into consideration the seismic constraints, by introducing local rigidity enhancing elements both in the vertical and horizontal planes. The aesthetics aspects of the used materials were also considered, with visible parts of the structure preserved on the inside and outside of the house. By maintaining the concrete visible on the outside, problems of thermal insulation and condensation had to be solved on the inner part of the walls which were covered on the inside with a rigid mineral insulation. The main insulation for the rest of the house, applied in the wood panels, consists of mineral wool which is doubled on the outside by an ETICS solution also based on rigid mineral wool. To ensure the energy efficiency of the entire building, high-performance three-chamber windows and an underfloor heating system was considered and south-facing windows were avoided and cantilevers were placed on the west and east facades to shade the ground floor facades.

Author's presentation text

The partnership between the two architects with the same name became in 2004 a small design office, with many projects in the residential, medical and industrial areas. Other explored fields are two extremes, interior design and urban planning. Large housing projects were, at some point, on a high level, lately this program being just occasionally approached. The design of medium-sized hospitals and a private clinic meant a vast and specialized experience achieved with the integration of a quality architecture in very specific spaces. Industrial buildings, with technological processes and parameters determined by the nature of the activity, require teamwork with other specialists (structural engineers, mechanical installations, technologists, etc.). Residential houses followed a continuous path and they (still) are a way to explore and use up to date technologies to the specific requirements of beneficiaries, with increasingly detailed ways of architectural design.