House RP – Marcelo Rios / Gonzalo Mardones Viviani

  • 31 Jul 2013
  • Houses Selected Works
© Nico Saieh

Architects: Gonzalo Mardones Viviani
Location: Valle Escondido, Lo Barnechea, Santiago,
Year: 2013
Photographs: Nico Saieh

Builder: Salvador Errázuriz
Landscape Gardener: Adriana Errázuriz
Lighting: Paulina Sir
Windows: Tecma
Kitchen: Poggenpohl
Closets And Bathroom Furniture: Xilofor

© Nico Saieh

From the architect. The house for Marcelo Rios and his family comes from the order of this former tennis player, also former World No. 1. It’s located in Valle Escondido, a place enclosed on the foothills of Santiago de Chile within a stunning natural environment and a privileged view to the hills and the golf course.

© Nico Saieh

The house places at middle levels, adapting to the slope. Also, it’s half-buried in order to appreciate and see the magnificent natural scenery from the access road. The roofs, themes from the distance, were enabled as an expanding large terrace: a place to stay, to enjoy the views, the environment and sunshine. The continuous roofs to the terrace surface were designed with natural vegetation and grass, but Marcelo, like every time he visited Wimbledon says that “The grass is for cows” so we decided to implement a roof with synthetic grass. The artificial grass was installed on rafters, which allowed generating an air bed that protects the cover from direct sunlight, preventing from overheating and affecting the air conditioning inside the house.

© Nico Saieh

The entrance hall acts like a kneecap that relates and distributes the different levels generating inside a sum of continuous merged spaces seeking the views to the garden, the golf course, the remote landscape and natural light. The house was designed with two opposite faces: one closed to the street with walls containing internal circulations bathed in zenithal lighting and courtyards, and a second face completely open to the terraces, the garden and views protected from the sunlight with wide eaves and beams.


We chose to use just one material, the exposed concrete, adding titanium dioxide to the concrete in order to whiten it. Recently, nanotechnology studies have shown that titanium dioxide added to the concrete helps eliminating toxic gases produced by cars, like trees do.  (Although that was not our aim but whitening the concrete, but we believe that if it’s true, is good news). Every wall, opening, window, window sill, etc, has been faceted with a 12 cm module obtained from the measure of the phenolic sheets.

© Nico Saieh

The use of the subsoil, what we call the sixth façade, is present in rooms that open, ventilate and illuminate through courtyards and the extension of the foundation to the terrace. The subsoil houses a games room, a trophy room and a cinema.

© Nico Saieh

The whole interior is white in order to enhance the brightness in the house. As the white color makes the light bounce, this is strained and controlled through courtyards and side zenithal openings. The floor and skirting boards help with the idea of white in the interior. For that, bone color ceramic tiles in format 120 x 60 cm have been used. Large windows are made of aluminium, helping with the monochromatic white image of the house.

© Nico Saieh

The garden was designed as a raised platform over the golf course, where it is possible to see it but not to be exposed to it.

First Floor Plan
Cite: "House RP – Marcelo Rios / Gonzalo Mardones Viviani" 31 Jul 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>
  • Richard Phingstorn

    The veracity of this work and his original way using concrete. One material. All Gonzalo Mardones works are characterized by the confrontation between good architecture and nature.

  • Croco Dile

    A nice geometrical sculpture.

  • Hector

    … and in this episode of MTV Cribs Modernist edition… it wouldn’t be a bad idea to publish the cost of buildings in this website… just saying.