Karina Kreth Takes a Cinematic Approach to This Home in Argentina
Argentine architect Karina Kreth took a major detour on her path to her current profession. “When I was at university studying architecture,” she reveals, “I started working as an art director for films”—a job she’d keep for 15 years. That career trajectory informs her multidisciplinary practice, Estudio Karina Kreth, founded in 2009, to this day. “Now, when I work with clients,” she continues, “I talk to them about creating a script and a choreography for their house and the way they want to live.” Kreth’s cinematic approach shines through her latest project, a residence in San Isidro, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. The restrained yet highly detailed design emphasizes negative space, with sculptural elements and focused moments of color that offer a stage set for life to unfold.
The arrangement of the 8,600-square-foot, two-story home, which opens on both levels to outdoor living spaces and terraces, features airy, uncluttered volumes that highlight the young family’s many artistic, culinary, and social pursuits. “For this client, and for me, too, the new luxury is having the time to stay home and be with friends and loved ones,” Kreth notes. Instead of filling rooms with layers of color, furnishings, and texture, she took a tightly edited, less-is-more approach.
Inside a Home Designed With a Film Director’s Eye
In the living room, for example, a large L-shape sectional sofa frames the fireplace. But where a cocktail table would typically stand there’s empty space instead, so the couple’s two young girls can bring out their drum sets for impromptu concerts and dance parties. In many cases, custom furnishings and casework by Kreth provide visual interest while serving double duty to hide clutter. The kitchen is a case in point: She created a large central island to house the dishwasher and oven, but clad it in light-blue fluted wood to make it a sculptural centerpiece. In the entry, an absence of artwork means the white-steel spiral staircase leading up to the second floor’s three bedrooms becomes the focal point. “All the little things for me are very important, because on the big screen, it’s those little things that create the atmosphere,” the architect notes.
Ultimately, Kreth used her director’s eye to imagine scenes of family life playing out in each space, then conceived rooms around those conjured-up vignettes. It is a concept she often refers to as architectural syncretism, or the practice of amalgamating the residents’ countless experiences and memories. “In cinema you compose everything—the costume design, the setting, the props,” Kreth says. “But I cannot imagine a space without people in it. It’s impossible for me.”
Explore the Home’s Soothing Interiors and Sinuous Forms
product sources from front
flos: pendant fixture (stair), sconce, pendant fixture (dining area), pendant fixture (powder room), sconces (bathroom).
ascolta: custom table (dining area).
roll&hill: pendant fixture (kitchen), lamp (living room).
cassina: sofa (living room).
apparatus: sconces (main bedroom).
listone giordano: wall stone (powder room).
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