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Impressive house surrounded by forest in Chile

The house is located in Lo Curro hill in the capital of Santiago, Chile, designed by architecture firm Schmidt Arquitectos Asociados. The site is long and has a gentle slope, covered with a forest of eucalyptus trees planted 30 years ago and it is crossed by an irrigation canal. It faces north and has a front view of the southern slope of the hill with vegetation, and a side view of the area east towards the city and the Cordillera de los Andes. This site brings together the best of central Chile, in addition to being just minutes from highways and therefore connected to anywhere.

The commission came out of conversations with the architects’ customers about the formality and programmatic life in the city and the freedom of households living in it, this freedom was something they did not want to lose. The client wanted, “a modern but cozy house”, a compliment to contemporary architecture, as boxes placed on the ground, turning the inhabitants into spectators of nature.

Organized by a glazed central corridor, the proposal extended as a house on the ground that invites people to explore it and enjoy it. This idea was emphasized in order to articulate the house with the landscape project. The program will then be distributed freely along this route, from an atelier room on the outside, through the public areas to the bedrooms. In this sense, the rooms take advantage of the slope and through this set their spatial and hierarchical condition.

To make the house comfortable, the preferred materials were of natural textures such as stone walls and wood floors. Soft cover coated waters of slate tiles are structured on laminated beams made in Chilean native timber Coihue and the slabs were left in the light to add more complexity and pace to the ceiling.

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To dilute the boundary between inside and outside, the windows are recessed in the floor and beams, sliding windows and doors are the only elements with frames and the stone walls of the garden terraces are introduced into the interior to reinforce the spatial continuity. The large window of the living room opens completely integrating the terrace and pool inside the house or vice versa.

Finally, the existing irrigation canal has been integrated to the house and landscape design, creating tiered lakes accompanying the tour, reflecting the environment, providing sound and moisture to the air. This channel ends in an 18 meters long swimming pool which resembles one more pond of the system.

Photos: Martín Schmidt R.

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