Architects: Felipe Montégu
Location: Curicó, Maule Region, Chile
Design Team: Felipe Montegu
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 120 sqm
Photographs: Felipe Montégu
This single-family house project is located in the foothills of central Chile, at 45Km. East of the city of Curico. The place is a private reserve of old-growth forest of oaks and other native species of southern Chile.
Given the thick density of the surrouding forest, it´s almost impossible to set geographic landmarks, great views or guidelines that allow us to clearly locate the project. Therefore we established a strategy to define the spot based on the light gaps existing in the dense woods. To adapt the program to these free spaces, we distributed the house in three volumes: access, common areas and bedrooms, which will be distributed throughout these gaps according to its optimal orientation.
Under this principle, the access to the house is located in the hub of an existing access path. The volume of common areas containing the living room, kitchen and a covered outdoor space is located with its main facades oriented north-south, and the two level volume of bedrooms is located with its main facades in East-West direction. Finally circulations and great views of the common areas turn into the outer space limited by these two main volumes.
Taking advantage of the natural slope of the terrain and the layout of the program, we created a half-height gap between the volume of bedrooms and the one of the common spaces, generating different horizons of views with the context.
Besides the fact of seeking a maximum respect for the environment, the distribution of the program defines a way to discover the dense forest through the interior pathways within the house.
The materials are designated according to the available manual labor found in the region which is highly skilled in wood construction. We proposed a structure of pine wood, coated externally with a pattern of vertical strips of 1×2” pine wood without any treatment.