June 17, 2019

Carol Burton Looks East for Inspiration for a Small Buenos Aires Apartment

In the dining area, a table and benches by Taller Numeros Primos gather near Mushroom lights from A3. Photography courtesy of Gonzalo Viramonte.

Less isn’t always more—but sometimes having less forces you to do more. That was certainly the case for architect Carol Burton when a client asked her to renovate a 580-square-foot apartment in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. “The biggest challenge,” she says, “was to achieve functionality and luxury in such a small apartment.”

A graphic installation in a herringbone pattern of Patagonia Flooring’s natural oak defines the living area. Photography courtesy of Gonzalo Viramonte.

For solutions, she looked East to Japanese architecture. “They master the use of space, light, and simplicity,” she says. “Nothing is simple, but everything should aspire to be.” And so for simplicity’s sake, Burton demolished the yellow stucco walls, which divided the first floor. She created a volume that includes a staircase, kitchen, and toilet, but otherwise left the space alone. Above, she swapped the original partition between the bedroom and bathroom for a glass screen.

Burton custom designed the terrazzo pattern, handmade by PIMUX; the toilet is by Roca and the faucet by FV. Photography courtesy of Gonzalo Viramonte.

Chevron flooring adds dimensionality, but light is the real star here. “It used to be a really dark apartment,” Burton says. “My favorite detail is the luminosity.” Sometimes a little light is all you need.

Cucina Montabile manufactured the custom white-lacquered storage beneath La Union Metalurgica’s white-lacquered-steel staircase. Photography courtesy of Gonzalo Viramonte.
Frosted glass and powder-coated steel doors by La Union Metalurgica screen off the bathroom. Photography courtesy of Gonzalo Viramonte.
Cucina Montabile’s bed is white-lacquered wood; the light opposite is by A3, above a Peisa electric radiator. Photography courtesy of Gonzalo Viramonte.

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