Island of Chiloé, CHILE
Architects: Max Núñez – Nicolás del Rio
Collaborator: Andrés Soffia
Location: Chiloé, X Region, Chile
Finished: December 2009
Structural Engineer: Mauricio Ahumada
Building Contractor: Constructora Tierra Austral
Built Surface: 276 m²
Materials: Steel structure, mañio wood, corten steel
Photographs: Felipe Camus, Sergio Pirrone
The smooth topography and horizontal profile of the Island of Chiloé define a landscape that is very different from the abrupt geography of continental Chile. Constant rain, strong winds and tides reaching up to eight meters make this costal area a place of perpetual change.
The project is situated on a small peninsula on the Northeastern coast of the island, over the Gulf of Ancud, which has a generous view of the horizon. On a clear day one can identify up to seven volcanoes in the distance, including the active Chaitén Volcano.
The house is placed as a foreign element on the edge of the beach, as if it was an unknown body about to take off with a strong breeze. Its exterior geometry is not related to its immediate surroundings. The relationship to the area's topography is instead established within its interior spaces.
The perimeter of the first floor is defined by a series of wooden columns that allow the interior to be partially exposed. This structuring of the perimeter fragments the various faces of the house, adjusting or dilating the openings in accordance with different degrees of intimacy, drawing shadows towards the interior that vary over the course of the day. The columns keep outsiders from being able to view the interior layout or the precise scale of the building.
Above the platform of the first floor, a metal structure covers an open plan floor space. This second level, which is more open and removed from the land than the first, offers a panoramic view of the horizon. The asymmetrical geometry of the roof generates a concave space whose regular perimeter stands in contrast to the dominating horizontal line of Chiloé's landscape. It is a roof with unusual dimensions for a house under the rain.