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Ochoalcubo House

The Power of Eight

Max Núñez Arquitectos

Ochoalcubo House
By Philip Jodidio -

In the early years of the century, design and architecture promoter Eduardo Godoy launched an ambitious plan to build eight houses with Chilean architects Smiljan Radic, José Cruz, Mathias Klotz, Sebastián Irarrázaval, Cecilia Puga, Teodoro Fernández, Cristián Valdés and Christian de Groote. Dubbed Ochoalcubo
(eight-cubed), the project was situated in the so-called Sector K of the resort development Marbella between the coastal towns of Maitencillo and Cachagua, about 160 km north-west of Santiago. After the launch of Ochoalcubo, Godoy decided to expand the architectural palette involved, and he invited Rick Joy, Guillaume Jullian and Toyo Ito to participate, but only Ito’s White O house (2009) was actually built. The houses were intended to have floor areas of about 300 sq. m on 1,500-sq. m sites.

In a second phase of the project, called Ochoquebradas (eight cliffs), Godoy sought to respond to the disastrous earthquakes that occurred in 2010 off the coast of central Chile (Terremoto del 27F) and in 2011 in Japan (Great Tōhoku earthquake). As it happened, both events were originally estimated at a strength of 8.8 on the Richter scale. Godoy now imagined calling on 16 architects, eight from Japan and eight from Chile, to build houses on cliffs above the Pacific in Los Vilos, which is about 100 km north of the original Ochoalcubo site. To date a total of three of these houses have been built, the first by Alejandro Aravena (Elemental, 2018) and the second by Ryūe Nishizawa (2019), both Pritzker Prize winners. Other announced Japanese participants include Kengo Kuma, Sou Fujimoto, Junya Ishigami and Atelier Bow-Wow. The third, and for the moment, final house in the series was designed by Max Núñez from Santiago. Born in 1976, he received his M.Arch degree from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (2004) and an M.Arch degree from Columbia (New York, 2010). After...

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