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Ocho quebradas HOUSE

overlooking the Pacific Ocean

Ryūe Nishizawa

Ocho quebradas HOUSE
By Francesco Pagliari -

The Ocho Quebradas program to build a series of holiday residences along a spectacular stretch of Chilean coast continues. Chilean and Japanese architects - professionals well acquainted with earthquakes being from countries lying on the Pacific Ocean Ring of Fire - have been enlisted to each build an architectural experiment. Their task: to explore expressive and technical ways of creating architecture that connects with its natural setting. In this particular case, Ryue Nishizawa had to contend with harsh, even extreme, conditions: the overwhelming presence of the ocean, both visually and acoustically. Perched on a small rocky promontory jutting into the sea, the residence designed by the practice succeeds in melding with the rocky terrain. An undulating concrete roof fits effortlessly into the environment, creating distinctive light-filled living spaces beneath, enclosed by frameless laminated glass walls forming a completely transparent boundary between interior and exterior.

The key element of this holiday home is its sinuous yet imposing 30 cm-thick reinforced concrete roof that descends to the ground in places to divide the space beneath. The curving concrete slab rises at the tip facing the ocean, the elegant geometry the result of considerable technical and construction prowess. Although slipping seamlessly into its natural location, the undulated roof slab is a salient feature in the landscape. It can be read either as a natural outcrop rising from the depths of the Earth to course perpendicularly down towards the sea or as an element that has been gently laid on the rocky terrain. The variations in the undulating roof divide the interior space into different rooms as the shape progresses towards the edge of the rocky promontory. Shielded by generous eaves,
the full-height glass walls follow the curving section of the roof to provide uninterrupted views, inundating the interiors with light that changes as the sun gradually moves west....

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