We unearthed over 3 feet of ground floor to create more head space in the lobby. Furthermore, we removed the second floor’s inner courtyard. As a result, more natural light now enters the ground floor. Our patio fountain replaced the small garage space.
The original elevator was a quaint piece. However, it was tiny and not suitable to today’s needs. Surrounding the old elevator was the original wood staircase. But this one only rose to the 2nd floor. It was well beyond expiry date. Therefore, we had to remove the old elevator shaft and the staircase. We also had to remove the concrete staircase at the rear of the building. We replaced them with two new elevator shafts and their machinery. Also, we built a brand new and more expansive staircase. Steel and concrete make up the new structure.
Located on the rear body of the building’s roof was the original pool. However, it would be considered more of a pond than a pool by today’s standards. After much effort, we transformed this terrace into a sun deck. Moreover, we covered the area with rare Lapacho hardwood. We also doubled the footprint of the pool. To this end, we did not exert too much weight on the structure below. This feature allows for shallow water space. Therefore, the addition is safe for children and pleasant for adults to lounge.
The front of the building did not originally extend past the fourth floor. To expand the living space, we removed the front part of the building’s original roof. For this purpose, we lowered the ceiling by 5 feet to comply with city height concerns. This resulted in private outdoor space for each of our serviced apartments in Buenos Aires above the 4th floor. From there, we built three more stories. These are set back and behind the early façade. Hidden when looking up from street level are the three added floors. We needed to stabilize the building’s structure for this addition. Therefore, we dug down 30 feet and constructed supporting pillars.
Brick arches make up the vaulting in most of the ceilings. People believed at the time, that this type of finish was industrial and unsightly. Therefore, they had covered the brick and lowered the ceiling. To our delight, we found these beautiful structures while removing the roof. Hence, we decided to expose them again. Our idea was to maintain the building’s identity while amplifying the spaces.
Each of the new apartments in Buenos Aires was ultimately constrained. Existing floors, pillars, and beams dictated the layout of the units. Also, we replaced and brought the entire plumbing and electrical system to current standards. Moreover, we used meticulous detail to install walls, floors, bathrooms, kitchens, and amenities.
Years later, we added Recoleta’s first rooftop organic vegetable garden.