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Casa Teresita

Bucaramanga, Floridablanca, Colombia. 2022

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145 m2 | 1,560 sq. f.

In the heart of a vibrant neighborhood, Casa Teresita stands as a testament to innovative architectural thinking, transforming a compact 50-square-meter plot into a remarkable multi-family dwelling that redefines urban living. Designed across three levels, with a captivating habitable rooftop, this project deftly navigates the complexities posed by a steep slope, making it an architectural gem that captures the essence of sustainable, socially conscious design.

Casa Teresita's primary objective was clear - to create an inviting space for multiple families while adhering to a strict budget. The ingenious response to this challenge involved harnessing the potential of every square meter. The design team embraced bioclimatic strategies and conducted advanced simulations to optimize sunlight, radiation, temperature, and wind patterns, ensuring a space that is as functional as it is visually appealing.

Casa Teresita's adherence to the city's urban regulations underscores its conscientious approach. It not only integrates seamlessly with the surrounding context but enhances the neighborhood's character, setting a new standard for responsible urban development.

In conclusion, Casa Teresita embodies the pinnacle of innovative design thinking and a deep commitment to sustainable, socially conscious architecture. Its multifaceted nature, habitable rooftop, and thoughtful consideration of the site's unique challenges make it not just a residence but a blueprint for thoughtful urban living. Casa Teresita stands as a beacon of inspiration for architects and residents alike, demonstrating that even on a limited footprint, remarkable architectural achievements are possible with creativity, vision, and a dedication to building a better, more sustainable future

The metropolitan area of Bucaramanga has an isothermal climate, so there are no defined seasons, since the temperature does not vary drastically throughout the year, having as main characteristic the mornings and nights within the comfort zone, Due to this, the main need for air conditioning is to avoid overheating and direct heat gain, especially in the afternoons, providing adequate ventilation to reduce humidity levels.

December's Sunset 

December's Sunrise 

June's Sunrise 

June's Sunset 

1- Rainwater collection
2- Cross ventilation
3- Garden terrace
4- Ventilation and natural lighting
5- Vegetation for self-shading
6- High floors
7- Flexible spaces
8- Low cost materials.

Sun Chart

Passive Strategies

Schematic Design

ROOF GARDEN
The fourth level terrace is planned as a semi-public viewpoint with services and an urban garden that will allow the interaction of the inhabitants of the Caldas neighborhood. The perimeter vegetation will help with solar control, and there will also be a rainwater collection system..

SECOND FLOOR
From the second floor, the overhangs are used to increase the interior space and promote cross ventilation in all spaces, since there is no access to the patio, but a balcony is proposed towards the void for ventilation and lighting for the living area. services. In the room's large window, it is proposed to replace 1/3 of the glass with wood to reduce direct sunlight gains.

ROOFTOP
On the roof there are solar water heaters that will supply the apartments, there is also a rainwater collection system for the comprehensive management of water resources.

THIRD FLOOR
With the same spatial distribution as the previous floor, in this option, the flex space of the room is used to use it as a bedroom. The protection of the façade window changes position due to the change in floor height.

FIRST FLOOR
In order to adapt to the topography, keeping the first floor on a single level, it was decided to leave it "half-basement", lowering half a story from the main entrance to gain access. It is the apartment with the smallest built area due to the platform's limits, the interior patio's area, and a greater height than the other units.

Incorporating features like operable windows, louvers, and strategic placement of openings allows for the smooth flow of fresh air, mitigating the need for energy-intensive cooling systems. The design emphasizes optimizing shade and natural shading elements to shield interior spaces from direct exposure to the intense afternoon sun, further reducing heat gain.

Additionally, architects consider the appropriate selection of materials with thermal properties that can help maintain a more stable indoor temperature. These materials, often with high thermal mass, absorb and store heat, releasing it gradually during the cooler periods, thus enhancing thermal comfort.

Furthermore, architectural layouts are thoughtfully planned to facilitate a harmonious connection between indoor and outdoor spaces. Expansive openings and carefully designed courtyards or outdoor areas provide opportunities for residents to enjoy pleasant breezes and embrace the favorable climate during mornings and nights.

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Interior view

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Living/Kitchen

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Standard Room

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