Buenos Aires is known for its beautiful architecture, but retaining the city’s historic character while breathing life into its abandoned buildings is often challenging. Thankfully, local firm Moarqs rose to the challenge when presented with the task of renovating a 1920s building into what is now the Tacuari House — a modern, energy-efficient residence that operates on solar power.

elongated structure with black cladding

Located in the Barracas neighborhood of Buenos Aires, the home was previously a dilapidated building that, according to local records, dates back almost a century. The building was originally broken up into several rental units centered around two open-air courtyards.

Related: A Seattle midcentury home is restored to its original brilliance with a modern twist

open-air patio space near black structure

Led by architect Ignacio Montaldo, the design team faced numerous challenges when working on the historic building’s renovation. The first objective was to update the space into a modern residence while retaining its character. According to the studio, some elements, such as the ironwork and some ornate plasterwork, were able to be salvaged in the updated building.

black structure with open doors leading to interior space

The first step was to rework the home’s layout so that the first central courtyard on the ground floor would become the heart of the home. To expand this space, the team demolished the back rooms to create a new central space, complete with a swimming pool and garden.

open-air courtyard with small swimming pool

The second step to the renovation process focused on adding a new building on the second floor, which would be used as the primary living space. Setting the new structure back from the official line of the home allowed the residents to have more privacy as well as more outdoor space. The new structure is made of a metal enclosure painted jet-black to contrast nicely with the bright outdoor space. A series of operable black shutters shade the interiors from the harsh sunlight in the summer, while welcoming in the heat and light during the cold winter months.

white interior with large windows and glass doors

Moarqs was able to restore the original calcareous and wooden floors as well as some of the home’s original ironwork. To modernize the space into an energy-efficient home, the designers added an array of solar panels on the roof and thermal panels for heating water. Now, the home perfectly blends its historic character with contemporary, green design.

+ Moarqs

Via ArchDaily

Photography by Albano Garcia and Javier Agustin Rojas via Moarqs

indoor courtyard with tree growing out of the tiled floor