Casa Limache | The Plan
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Casa Limache

Ricardo Torrejón Arquitectos

Located in Chile’s hilly hinterland close to Valparaiso and Viña del Mar, Casa Limache makes the most of the surrounding hilly landscape and nearby water reservoir that also serves as a recreational lake and park.
The architectural brief demanded functional plurality: the complex had to be both a permanent residence and holiday home for visiting relatives. The solution was to create separate yet connected units that fit together like a sort of miniature village. Sited on a steep slope, the building rises from a large platform in the form of an indented concrete retaining wall. Complying with the lie of the land, the residence comprises three blocks, each with a designated use: parents’ quarters; communal living and kitchen areas; and separate environments for children and their families. Another volume, separate from the rest, houses services and equipment. The three main blocks are fanned out on the platform base, their full height windows opening onto the countryside all around.
A key feature is the intricate convergences of planes on the exterior and interior. The entrance to the residence is at the level of the platform. A small area near the parents’ living quarters leads, via a few steps, to an intermediary level from which departs the only connection between the three blocks. Everywhere, raised levels and intersections provide a series of interior perspectives. Unconcealed structural steel columns contrast effectively with timber beams, timber-clad stairs and mezzanine floors. Certain points give views through the full height of the building while terraces set at different levels and angles offer sweeping views over the mountain range and reservoir.
The programme is grounded in simplicity of both construction and aesthetic. This highlights the materials employed and the “build-on-site” way they were installed. Significantly, the oak timber used for the exterior ventilated walls, beams, flooring walls,...

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