A Concrete Abode in Uruguay Embraces its Beachfront Setting

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By Michele Koh Morollo
The communal spaces on the top floor of this three-story residence open up to ocean views.

Featuring a thin, concrete roof that appears to hover over a concrete mass, Nabuco House by Argentinian architect Pablo Gagliardo sinks into a gently sloping beachfront lot in Maldonado, Uruguay.

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The house is split into three levels. 

The house is split into three levels. 

Three bedrooms and bathrooms are located on the first level. Each room can adapt to accommodate a varying number of occupants. 

Three bedrooms and bathrooms are located on the first level. Each room can adapt to accommodate a varying number of occupants. 

The 3,251-square-foot residence is surrounded by trees and native vegetation, and has a pool that faces a peaceful beach.  

The third level can be totally opened up to fuse indoor and outdoor space.

The third level can be totally opened up to fuse indoor and outdoor space.

The lower level, half buried in the earth, is a massive flexible space that can be used as a study or guest room. This level also contains service areas, storage, and a machinery room. 

The lower level has its own separate entrance for privacy.

The lower level has its own separate entrance for privacy.

The open-plan, third-level living area expands outwards to two large terraces. The smaller terrace, which has a grilling station, is located above the grove that occupies the bottom of the lot. 

On one end of the top-floor communal space is a white volume that neatly contains the kitchen, pantry, and toilet. 

On one end of the top-floor communal space is a white volume that neatly contains the kitchen, pantry, and toilet. 

The topmost level is much more transparent and permeable compared to the rest of the home.

The topmost level is much more transparent and permeable compared to the rest of the home.

The larger terrace, located directly above the parking garage, has an infinity pool and solarium, and looks out to tranquil beach views. 

The upper floor has high ceilings, and is a single, flowing space that opens seamlessly to the outdoors on all sides.

The upper floor has high ceilings, and is a single, flowing space that opens seamlessly to the outdoors on all sides.

A triple-height staircase serves as the backbone of the house, connecting the various interior living spaces and promoting efficient circulation. 

A triple-height staircase serves as the backbone of the house, connecting the various interior living spaces and promoting efficient circulation. 

"The social area of the house is in continuous relation with the outside, with open views over the sea, yet well connected to the street and vehicular access," says Gagliardo. 

Through a winding gravel path cutting through the native vegetation, one arrives at a parking garage, which is located the below the roof’s large, overhanging eaves.  

Through a winding gravel path cutting through the native vegetation, one arrives at a parking garage, which is located the below the roof’s large, overhanging eaves.  

On the exterior, a parallel staircase connects the ground floor with the rear terrace on the uppermost level, so the owners can access the outdoor spaces without going through the interior of the house. 

Above the garage, the sturdy concrete eaves support a pool and terrace on the upper level.  

Above the garage, the sturdy concrete eaves support a pool and terrace on the upper level.  

The deck rises up in sections to become sun loungers.

The deck rises up in sections to become sun loungers.

"The thin, inclined concrete roof reinforces the continuity between the interior and exterior by blurring the limits of the enclosed space," continues Gagliardo. "This enhances the impressive views of the lot itself, increasing its height, and opening it up towards the sea." 

Floor plan drawings

Floor plan drawings

Project Credits: 

 Architecture: Pablo Gagliardo 

Builder: Angel Tort Construction