On an 8,66 meter-wide plot within the urban fabric of a low-density Buenos Aires neighborhood, this building by architects BAAG – Buenos Aires Arquitectura Grupal is a versatile and inclusive space for use by young scouts.
In line with scouting’s nature-oriented philosophy, sustainability plays a key role in the design with materials and means of production chosen with the circular economy in mind. Further to this, nature and its surroundings are felt throughout the interior in part thanks to a dynamic envelope of plants that changes throughout the year and creates a shifting urban setting.
A key challenge was to create a new urban image for the scouting institution and to measure its response contextually to the surroundings, which mainly comprise low-height houses.
The interior space is organized around a central vertical space with varying heights and dynamic interlocking voids that grow from the ground floor upward. Interior partitions are formed by wooden cabinets that can be opened and moved as scouting activities require. This enhances the interaction and communication between building users and the environment. All rooms open fully to the outside thanks to sliding windows and wooden openings. Each space, illuminated by natural daylight, has views either towards the street or the backyard.
Cross-ventilation is relied upon, particularly in the summer months, to ensure a comfortable climate while during the winter, a series of heaters below the sliding windows can be used as required to maintain interior temperatures.
Finally, the green envelope of planting evokes the feeling of being within a tree but also acts as a solar filer, brise soleil and air filer. The green surface is installed upon a metal mesh that works not only as a substrate but as a means of protection and security as well. This mesh is fabricated from manually folded and welded iron bars, which are typically used in concrete formwork. Planted by the scouts themselves, species used for the green facade include Commelinaerecta, Fuchsia magellanica, Macfadynea unguis-cati, Podranearicasoliana and Pyrostegiaventusta.