The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to stay in our homes for weeks, perhaps months, venturing out only for essential needs. For many of us, this situation has put our quality of life in crisis, realizing that the dimensions, uses, and characteristics of our homes do not always meet the new needs arising from the pandemic, and sometimes they didn't even cater to our previous needs, which were concealed by the limited time we spent in them.
During this period, we have also had time to take action on the changes we desired for our lives, trying to make the most of what has put us in crisis. That is why we have given great value to those forgotten spaces we had for years. Over the past few months, we have improved the garden, repaired the broken table in the patio, swept the balcony, and replaced the rusty bicycle with plants, a small table, and some lights. With simple yet essential gestures, we have transformed what we considered to be discarded into something lasting.
This small apartment in the heart of San Miguel de Tucumán, like many others in various cities, has a great opportunity above its head. It is located on the top floor of a three-level building, with only the water tanks on the roof, an unused space except for maintenance a couple of times a year.
The project aims to maximize the limited resources we had and seeks to solve the problem within a defined timeframe, allowing us to provide a quick solution to the lack of space in a context of confinement.
The intervention is achieved by creating an opening in the balcony's ceiling to install a staircase that connects the two levels. On the upper level, a wooden platform is placed, defining a usable area while protecting the existing slab. With these two fundamental elements, just two simple gestures, we transform the water tank roof into a terrace where we can expand the uses of this apartment.
For the structure of the platform, we have designed three large metal frames with wooden slats screwed onto the structure, separated to prevent rainwater from accumulating on the surface. In the workshop, we manufactured the modules for on-site assembly, minimizing on-site work time.
For the opening that connects the apartment floor to the terrace level, we conducted a joint study with our team of engineers, developing a metal frame embedded in the slab to distribute the loads and stresses without compromising structural safety. To this frame, we welded a lockable door and a metal railing above the balcony level. The project is completed with a simple metal ship ladder that connects the two levels.