This Vacation Home in Argentina Is One Part House, One Part Skate Ramp

For a client who shreds, designer Macu Bulgubure created the ultimate escape by merging a half-pipe with a home.

For this vacation home in the wetlands of the Paraná River in Argentina, designer Macu Bulgubure was presented with an unusual client brief. "The original request was a detached weekend home, plus a cabin and a skate ramp," explains Bulgubure. But as the project evolved, he came up with an entirely different idea: to integrate the ramp into the design.

Addressing that request required some creative thinking. To merge house and ramp without it feeling like a tacked-on addition, Bulgubure set the skate ramp into the elevated deck fronting the home. The deck seamlessly transitions into a runway, rising into a half-pipe to the south. Besides adding a visually dynamic curve to the facade, the giant ramp also helps block the high summer sun.

Inside, the dual-level home contains an open-plan, double-height living room and kitchen on the lower level, with a hanging staircase leading to a single bedroom and bath above. The primary material of eucalyptus met strict budget requirements, and creates a durable exterior where it is coated with a water-repelling treatment. Black galvanized steel sheets also figure throughout the home.

Since the site is in a flood zone and has no access to services like electricity and water, the design needed to be resilient to the elements. To protect from flooding, Bulgubure elevated the roughly 860-square-foot house on stilts. Photovoltaic panels provide all the electrical energy for the home, and water comes from a rainwater harvesting system and the nearby river. A solar-powered hot water tank heats water for the home. "It’s a wild environment surrounded by raw, untouched nature," explains Bulgubure.

For Bulgubure, the home reflects his interest in using design to help clients live out their individual ideas of happiness. "Of course functionality has to be guaranteed, but it’s also important to let inspiration flow and be a little bit playful," he says. "I think the best way to design a home is picturing someone being happy living there."

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