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Ocho Quebradas House

Raw materiality for a raw setting

Elemental

This residence is the result of a brave development project in which a series of Chilean and Japanese architects were commissioned to each build a short-stay holiday home on a rugged section of the Chilean coast. Entitled Ochoalcubo, the multi-phase project recruited architects - young and emerging or household names - eager to adopt outside-the-box experimental thinking (see The Plan 021 for descriptions of other designs). Although the architects were given free rein in their choice of design for this raw inhospitable setting, their projects had to provide a series of pre-established amenities: four bedrooms, a living and dining area, kitchen, bathrooms and a cellar for a top-end residence targeting the affluent client market. As well as creative and experimental, the architectural projects also had to retain some degree of abstraction so as to accommodate later input from the future owner, which at the time of design and construction had not been identified. The residence Ocho Quebradas (in English “Eight Gullies”) is a short distance from Los Vilos, a little town some 250 km from the capital Santiago. The floorplan arranges the environments of the different volumes in fan-like fashion to look out over the rugged treeless shoreline sloping down to the rolling breakers of the Pacific Ocean. The radically experimental project by Elemental is completely in line with the specifications of the brief. Objectively, it is totally in sync with the harsh natural landscape; subjectively, it develops a system of reference that binds the architecture to its natural setting while allowing for the specific requirements of the future owner who will use it as a short-stay retreat. The residence is made up of three different-sized parallelepiped volumes in reinforced concrete, each oriented in a different direction. The board-marked unrendered concrete walls of these elementary forms make them appear as a single unit. Only one wall is timber-clad - with the same...

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