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  5. OPA
  6. 2009
  7. House in Colina / OPA

House in Colina / OPA

  • 01:00 - 2 February, 2010
House in Colina / OPA
House in Colina / OPA, © Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

© Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh +42

  • Architects

  • Location

    Colina, Chile
  • Architects In Charge

    Felipe del Río, Federico Campino
  • Structural Engineer

    Leonora Morales
  • Landscaping

    José Ignacio Romussi
  • Contractor

    Jaime Martinez Jaca
  • Area

    200.0 sqm
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

From the architect. This house is located just outside Santiago, in the rural area of the Colina Valley. The abundant vegetation and open space, dominated by hills and groves, keeps the countryside feel of the environment, worn by urban expansion and insensitive real estate development, which reproduce city-type housing and infrastructure in a natural scenery. Thus, importing the city´s image over it.

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

This provided us with the first notions for architecture. The idea of reinterpretation and representation of traditional countryside constructions, over the idea of coming up with a formal concept for a house, to work within context and in relation to the natural surroundings.

section 02
section 02

While studying rural construction typologies, both housing and industrial, the space virtues of farm machinery and storage sheds and warehouses stood out, mainly due to its structural simplicity, interior amplitude and height, use flexibility, modular construction and its potential for programmed extension, all of which being strongly rated by the client.

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

The elements that build these structures are easy to recognize, making them common and familiar, while individual and defined within the landscape through the use of materials. This infrastructure settles respectfully in countryside geography, through its association to large culture and free surfaces, and poplar groves of interior roads that are seen from a distance as high and long green axes. Size, robustness and clarity of its shape manifest its architectural condition among the valley.

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

Opposite to this, the thermal and energetic problematic of heating and cooling interiors with large volumes of air, thinking in domestic use and its potential for rural housing and infrastructure, -this time inspired by its own characteristics and landscape-, extending countryside constructive tradition from a sustainable and contemporary environmental perspective.

ground floor plan
ground floor plan

As a design strategy we resolved to load the house´s structure with more variables concerning function and program, given the larger efforts it demands in the construction process, becoming the project´s theme and guideline. This results in a two story framework of individually shaped reinforced concrete frames, according to function and position in the house. No frame matches the next one, breaking symmetry and monotony of industrial reference models.

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

Interior space is organized by collecting all service and circulation functions in a two story technical corridor, separated from social areas and bedrooms by a double height brick masonry wall, which runs across the house. Both areas are connected through openings in the wall. The second floor circulation overlooks the living room and terrace, stressing its verticality and role as a central, family gathering space. Three terraces were placed in both ends of the house, facing south for summer time and north for the winter sun.

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh

The columns of each frame have a variable section that increases with height, to create the condition for an insulating exterior wall that provides the second floor and roof with a larger thermal capacity, combining a wide air chamber and a thick layer of mineral wool. This contributes to store the warm air mass for a longer time, using less energy to heat the house, like an old farm house with thick walls of adobe. To cool the house, cross ventilation was designed in both directions and trough both heights, to favor fresh air circulation and passive extraction of hot air.

section 01
section 01

Landscaping was treated using the site´s surface to build dry areas and gardens around the house, and in function of the natural patios that are formed below and both sides of an old poplar grove that ends inside the site.

© Nico Saieh
© Nico Saieh
Cite: "House in Colina / OPA" 02 Feb 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


dany · February 04, 2011

please sent me cataloge

??? · January 29, 2011


Architecture Topic · April 05, 2010

Architecture #Architecture: House in Colina / OPA...

Architecture Topic · April 05, 2010

Architecture #Architecture: House in Colina / OPA...

tDA · February 09, 2010

consider the simple (and daily) domestic act of preparing a meal.
What would be worse - stuck in that dark, isolated space preparing the meal, or stuck cleaning up the TILED counter top with white grout?

Felipe Strahovsky · February 06, 2010

Very pleasant interiors, a strong proposal.
Beautiful structure and materials
Nice work OPA, you've been creating interesting Architecure.
All the best.

BarringtonArch · February 05, 2010

RT @Ellephanta: Want a motivation to make lots of money? #architecture (via @kitsunenoir)

Celine Song · February 05, 2010

Want a motivation to make lots of money? #architecture (via @kitsunenoir)

Michael Baugus · February 04, 2010

Interesting angles and use of structural concrete. House in Colina / OPA.

BPA · February 04, 2010

Excellent work, strong and full of energy.

CRISTIAN · February 03, 2010


Johnny Wanker · February 03, 2010

#Architecture : House in Colina / OPA

erie · February 03, 2010

impressive work!

Matt · February 03, 2010

Very inventive project.

earthadapt · February 03, 2010

#Green #Construction House in Colina / OPA ; )

silcou · February 03, 2010

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homedecornews · February 03, 2010

House in Colina / OPA

ivan c · February 03, 2010

RT @archdaily: House in Colina / OPA

actfeedsdan90c · February 03, 2010

ArchDaily: House in Colina / OPA

arhitectura · February 03, 2010

House in Colina / OPA: © Nico Saieh
Architects: OPA / Felipe del Río, Federico Campino
Location: Colina, Chi...

disagro · February 03, 2010

House in Colina / OPA: © Nico Saieh
Architects: OPA / Felipe del Río, Federico Campino
Location: Colina, Chile

anavic · February 03, 2010

What I don't like: the stairs
What I do like: Everything else! Moving out there right now with closed eyes!

Modern Zen Architecture · February 03, 2010

Absolutely! Chile has been coming out recently with some outstanding architectural examples for all of us to admire. This current example is technically very strong.

Casper de Hart · February 03, 2010
ArchitecturePassion · February 02, 2010

House in Colina / OPA: © Nico Saieh Architects: OPA / Felipe del Río, Federico Campino Location: Colina, Chile ..

HuterStone · February 02, 2010

wohaaaa, I'm impressed with the recent architecture Chile is showing. Excellent job!

Deepa · February 02, 2010

Beautiful re interpretation of Barns and store house form.
Absolutely Refreshing.


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