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Patio House

Living Transparency

Mathias Klotz

Patio House
By Luca Maria Francesco Fabris -
Vimar has participated in the project

One of the things that most attracts us to contemporary Chilean architecture is its evident European stamp. Forms and references belong to that rationalist culture, developed a century ago, whose repudiation of decorative esthetics gave us the absolute masterpieces of the early Mies van der Rohe, that here, on the Pacific coast of South America have been innovated and extended, achieving a purity that never ceases to delight. Perhaps the same thing happens with a language: when a linguistic group moves away, detaching itself from its fellow speakers, the language they take with them remains as it was, albeit changing slightly. The changes take place slowly, becoming crystalized in time. This is the principle of permanence at work: by making slight adjustments, that language stands the test of time. It is what we today call resilience.

This is the starting point for understanding the work of Mathias Klotz – before, of course, you go beyond that. Born in Chile in 1965, Klotz has been Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Art and Design of the Diego Portales University in Santiago since 2003. At the same time, he has chalked up an impressive number of projects, constantly refining an expressive language that while exhibiting certain unchanging elements, has undergone systemic evolutions that at times seem to be opening the door to spatial fragmentation. Yet, Klotz preserves a perfect equilibrium with the masterful interplay of materials, planes and elements, which although invisible, play a decisive role in delineating his habitable spaces. Information on Klotz, the architect, abounds. An extensive bibliography exists on his work, ranging from monographs to a raft of critical articles. However, in our day and age when we can access direct information, I think it is interesting to see what this Chilean architect has to say about himself. His website, for example, cites the house he built for his mother in 1991 – the year he graduated from the...

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