Fosc House / Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects

© Cristobal Palma

Architects: Mauricio Pezo, Sofia von Ellrichshausen
Location: Road to El Venado nº 1130, San Pedro,
Models: Oscar Otarola, Helena Lennert
Structure: German Aguilera
Construction: Ricardo Ballesta
Sanitary project: Marcelo Valenzuela
Electrical project: Carlos Martinez
Constructive system: Reinforced concrete
Exterior finishing: Cooper Oxide tinted concrete, aluminium window frames
Interior finishing: Painted concrete and wood, wooden and stone floors
Plot area: 597 sqm
Built area: 160 sqm
Project date: 2007
Construction date: 2008-2009
Model photographs: Ana Crovetto
Photographs: Cristobal Palma

© Cristobal Palma © Cristobal Palma © Cristobal Palma © PvE

This project is both an exercise of formal and structural concentration. The dense program of this house for a family with four children (five bedrooms, three bathrooms, family room, studio, etc) is fitted between a regular interior duct and the surface of the largest legally possible exterior wall. The prospect of a future division of the site adds to the decision of concentrating all the program in a three storey prism on the highest point of the land so as to have vistas beyond the trees located on the lowest area of the plot.

sectioned axo
sectioned axo
© Cristobal Palma
© Cristobal Palma

Bedrooms occupy the first and third floors. The intermediate stage, a podium leveled with the natural access to the site, is occupied by the social and gathering activities. The continuous peripheral layout of the rooms is organized around a vertical circulations shaft that links in a spiral-like way and without corridors, all the rooms. This vertical duct is occupied by a thin folded steel sheet with wooden steps that rests in a central structural spine. The construction is a monolithic piece of concrete dyed green with a water repellent coat made of Copper Oxide. The openings, distributed according to orientation and programmatic needs, establish varying densities in the wall that wraps this silhouette. This wall is technically composed of two independent reinforced concrete walls (one of them structural) with an insulation layer in between. The fabrication of this wall was done in situ with the simultaneous pouring of concrete into both walls. The owners of the house, equally involved in contemporary art, once showed us the rusted and aged pedestals of the monuments found in local squares. The oxide drippings, we thought, print the surfaces with an elusive natural quality, halfway between mineral and vegetal.

Cite: "Fosc House / Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects" 22 Oct 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • Mark

    I like it. It reminds me of SANAA a lot.

    • blackstone

      The constant refrain of ‘it reminds me of’ remarks are boring.

  • josep

    Many times I’ve been very harsh when criticizing the work published here but this is a perfect example of a well executed project with a limited budget

    • frank

      Trust me, there’s no dyed concrete finish when there’s a limited budget..

      • Gorgos

        I agree. There are many details in this house which demand a lot of resources. It looks good. Their poli-house still fascinates me!! I have no problem with them repeating the same manieristic way they treat the windows in their projects, though of course this also means they dont get the same “oooohs and ahhhhs” after a while.

        I think I personally would feel the need to experiment with other ideas.

      • banana

        nicely put gorgos

    • Jan

      I wouldn’t say external walls completely made of concrete are exactly cheap… But I could be wrong.

      • josep

        well if you have to finish the concrete with all the labor + materials it will add about 40% to the cost
        so yes is cheaper!

      • Alex.

        The walls are simply left with unfinished-bare-surfaces both inside and outside the house; the formwork for pouring the concrete walls in has simply and a bit careless been made out of rather rough timber boards; the stairs could’ve hardly been more simple: metal plates welded together and secured on place by welding each step on equally rudimentary pieces of metal rods; the imperfect interior woodwork and ceramic tiles on the floor that invites one to think about how these could’ve been done much better yet hardly cheaper (to be read as inexpensive!). All these must’ve seriously contributed to cutting off the construction costs. The design, the projects, some of the materials, the sanitary, the electrical and probably the heating systems may have been rising the final expense amount but – hey! – going down with these costs is an unworthy risk to be taken under most of the circumstances.

  • blackstone

    The house has a charming toy-like quality, but is it TOO reductive? How do the windows operate? How is daylight controlled? And privacy achieved? Is a flush-glazed punched window the appropriate response for EVERY single aperture? And what will it look like once the residents install ad-hoc solutions to remedy these intrinsic shortcomings?

  • Dustin

    Hmmmmm where have I seen this before? what does it remind me of? ….. oh! thats right! the ArchDaily logo!

    • Paulo


      • julia

        Guys…the Archdaily Logo IS an house of these architects! And not the other way round. Read first, then laugh!

  • pathos

    Delightful project! Good job Architects.

  • andres

    I like their architecture. They do great stuff with, sometimes, limited budget but I feel like they are constantly repeating themselves. This house was already made but using a different material. Look after the casa Wolf as an example.

    • Diego

      The way Casa Wolf works is different than this house.
      When you think about the internal logic that gives order to the program , you start to realize that the facade is never the innovative result but a formal accident of their method, althoug the houses are very different.

      Look at the plans in their other houses like Poli, Wolf or Rivo.

    • David Basulto

      If you look at the plans of both houses, you´ll notice they are actually the opposite.

  • gn

    that’s the point. move on! architecture ain’t a formula! why are windows and apertures treated in all the projects as if all of them were placed in the same site? this project is not poli house and it shouldn’t try to be like it.
    for instance, I really like parr house… that concept is great!
    WE like your work! but please!!! move on!!

  • Patent Police

    There are times when I wish had detail drawings, after all this is a site for architects (isn’t it?).

    I’d be curious to see a wall section here, it’s described as “technically composed of two independent reinforced concrete walls (one of them structural) with an insulation layer in between”. I take this as meaning the outer concrete wall is essentially concrete cladding, and the inner wall the structural one. Even more interesting considering this wall may be amost 0.5M thick, given how small a house it is. This is the first time I’ve heard of concrete being used as cladding on a residential project.

    Further, I’d like to see a very detailed photograph of the building skin, I’m not familiar with copper tinted concrete.

    PS Nice flooring. And nice project!

    • Dustin

      Arch daily does have detailed drawings of some projects but I think it depends more on what the architects provide than what archdaily posts. It would be interesting to see what you are expressing though.

      • David Basulto


        Exactly. We try to do our best to feature detailed information for each project, it always varies…

  • aldo


    • Alex.

      Well, it’s kind of plain to see that the widows are not fixed, although they open towards the exterior of the house:

  • Suad

    Looks like they were inspired by the Arch Daily logo.

  • fengfeng


  • Carlos

    Who cares if it looks like SANNA your comment is meaningless!! better not say anything!!

  • d.teil

    it seems that this house is standing in the countryside and it seems too that all the images showing us that the windows can’t be open. even in chile it will be very very hot, everyone like to open a window is it? especially when you are living outside a city to get some air inside (in the best case you consider to open windows on both sides to let the air go through the rooms (ventilation). considering this, i really have to agree with some other comments: CAN NOT UNDERSTAND!

  • archiyed

    is the concrete facade coloured with pigments in cement or after painted? if anyone inform me i’ll be happy.

  • archiyed

    and also how can i find a detail of concrete work? is there insulation in it?

  • Pingback: Fosc House by Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects « RADDblog

  • DM_A

    You see the picture of the kid on the ladder trying to look trough the window? I like that kind of windows but now, in Spain, this is almost impossible to do. You have to make sure that ANY window in the building can be cleaned. This way, wether you make any kind of hangings outdoors to let people climb the façade and clean, or you put every window “on its place”, so that you can open it, and clean it (inside and outside) without using any ladder or whatever.
    I don’t know how it’s going on in your countries, but in Spain, whith the new regulations, is hard to justify even just a window, making a project like this quite hard to be seen.
    Although this project “reminds me of…” a lot of projects, it’s very well done, and the pictures are great.

  • shtern

    like logo of archdaily ^__^

    • David Basulto

      Actually, it wasn´t intentional, but when we came up with the logo we said “oh, it looks like a PvE house” (2 years ago, before this one was built).

  • nombre
    • Alex.

      This is a harsh remark and a freshly rushed in judgement: the stairs are not broke but only not close to the stairwell exterior walls; it may be an effect of the imperfect plan of the wall surface or just another design detail that has been followed in the actual construction. The main purpose with this project is to keep costs beyound a given limit and I believe this criteria has been virtuously met without really compromising the intended quality of the product.

    • amr

      ????? You are kidding right? It is an exquisite stair detail allowing light to penetrate down below the treads. I’m guessing you guys want perfection 24/7. Done on the cheap, but so what. I have walked up stairs costing as much as this whole house but very very few would have the same quality of light for the senses.

      Sadly working with plasterboard (or drywall if you call it that) has dulled a lot of architects senses to the tactile beauty of raw materials and something called……texture.

  • -

    I like a lot their projects even if they have the same “look”. Each time the shape is result of thoughtful process of designing interior spaces and connection with site. I would not appreciate seeing them creating plastic, curved houses which would look old after one year of using. They do experiment but on different scale than you would expect. Keep it this way!

  • Julio Ramirez Bruna

    I do definitely like the typical finishing of the materials, and the way how they actually combine the more than used aluminium fenestrations…- i don’t think those are windows-…with the concrete, it looks like the upgrade of the chilean summer house, but in a rough way, the external and internal form to me it’s related to the light,, it’s more on the sculptural side of the architecture…. in fact I don’t like the rombo form in plan, but it turns out interesting when you see the spaces, the highs, the distances of things,,,,, like the children bedroom (pretty good)… I do really like it,,,

  • archiyed

    is the concrete facade coloured with pigments in cement or after painted? if anyone inform me i’ll be happy.

  • John

    shabby and very concrety, very good place for shelter against the rain

  • christopher

    for those familiar with Francois Blanciak’s work Siteless, this would be called ‘Block Of Cheese’

  • Kun

    Once again we see how it can be done: exquisite example on how to build on a budget and with excellent design and quality. Keep it up PvE! Hope we see more in the near future.

  • Forrest

    the green concrete looks great on the red earth.

  • salvadore

    ablsolutley amazing!!! true artists!!!

  • Pingback: Michael Earle Modern Zen Architecture Thailand Blog | Modern Zen Architecture Resort Design | Modern Zen Ocean Villas

  • Pingback: Maison Fosc (le Chili Suisse) | dailyCharrette