3-Element House / Tomás Swett

© Felipe Fontecilla

Location: , Chile
Collaborator: Juan Ignacio Diaz
Engineer: Alex Popp
Project Area: : 485 sqm
Photographs: Felipe Fontecilla, Tomas Swett

Floor Plan

Building a new house in a land where there was an existing one floor house of 300 square meters, keeping only 50% of the construction and demolishing the rest, was the client´s requirement because of the poor state of the original house and its location in the land.

Part of the client’s requirements was to get a new image house, creating a new access associated with a courtyard, living spaces connected with outside areas and an independent main room with views to the landscape.

© Felipe Fontecilla

With these 3 requirements, we proposed to work with two main operations. First, a few first floor extensions should define several programmatic courtyards as an entrance area, barbecue area, garden and playground. Second, almost all the new program should be on the second floor to release the land, with a new building material which creates a new image of the house.

© Felipe Fontecilla

With the first operation, we defined different programmatic areas in a continuous garden. We projected a new living room and terrace area, defining a barbecue and a pool zone. Also, we extended the bedrooms area and we defined a playground area and a private terrace.


In the second operation, we worked with 3 stone elements to give a new look to the house which brook to the flat geometry of the original house. These 3 elements defined a double-height entrance, a second interconnected living room with an outdoor terrace and finally, the main room as an icon volume, dominating the garden and landscape.

Cite: "3-Element House / Tomás Swett" 20 Jul 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=151116>
  • Fudge

    I very much enjoy the relationship between the entrance canopy and balcony and garden wall. The back garden pebble courtyard is also well composed. Nice work.

  • Grudge

    Looks like a frankenstein made of several Dwell issues. oh and Sunset magazine. too much for “listening” to the owners. Next time you’ll do better.

    • Sludge

      Yeah, those silly owners. Why would you listen to them? They only have to live in the building. Much better to design to suit anonymous website critics I think.

      • Pudge

        That’s why the “listening” is in brackets; a big huge part of the role of the architect is to interpret what the owners say, not only pick their
        pages ripped from a magazine and copy/paste. Another issue I have now is with the use of 3d technologies, everything looks good in a 3d model, but not everything can be translated to a built environment without the material filter.