Lofts Yungay II / Rearquitectura

© Marcos Mendizabal

Architects: Rearquitectura / Antonio Menéndez Ferrer – Cristian Barrientos Vera
Location: Cerro Yungay, , Chile
Client: Inmobiliaria Ltda.
Contractor: JMC Constructora Limitada
Structure Engineer: Jorge Dadhal Casas-Cordero.
MEP: H.A.O. Ingeniería.
Site Area: 400 sqm
Project Area: 1,350 sqm
Project Year: 2008–2009
Photographs: Marcos Mendizabal

Lofts Yungay II is a collective housing building located in the outskirts of the World Heritage Area of Valparaíso, Chile. This city is one of the largest Chilean ports in the Pacific Ocean. Valparaiso’s landscape is very characteristic due to its many hills packed with colorful houses almost falling out of the cliffs. Each house is different from one another, but together they create a harmonic landscape.

location plan

The project’s lot is located in a hill side with a strong slope in both north-south and east-west directions. The site has two main facades; the east façade faces the street at the top of the hill, mean while the west façade faces a steep cliff.

© Marcos Mendizabal

The project was intended to blend into this urban landscape characterized by the combination of small colorful houses dispersed throughout the steep hillside. The building required to house 20 units, and thus its volume was much larger than the neighboring houses and would require a heavy intervention of the hill’s geography. This would destroy the scale and geography of this urban landscape.

To blend, the project required a smaller scale, and required to adapt into the geography. For this reason the building was fragmented into a series of smaller volumes. Each of these volumes is an individual unit, and has an individual color. They are placed at different altitudes following the slope of the hill, and thus, adapting the building into its geography. On the rear façade the units are slightly turned accentuating the idea of a combination of smaller units instead of a sole large volume. On the main façade, the volumes are aligned respecting the continuous façade of the street.

© Marcos Mendizabal

Certain construction elements that are present in the surrounding historical buildings, such as the small-wave galvanized coating and the tall wooden windows, were used in the facades. These were combined with new elements such as the double height windows and the perforated steel sheets of the parking lot gates. Together, these old and new elements mix into a contemporary façade with a strong local identity.

In the interior, the building is structured with a north-south axis containing three levels of corridors. Each one of these corridors has a series of short ladders that reflect how the building adapts to the slope of the site. The up most corridor has a succession of skylights separated from each other by colorful volumes, allowing the natural illumination of this area.

© Marcos Mendizabal

The building contains 20 lofts. The corridor at level -1 leads to the storerooms and to 6 two-story units, each one with a small garden overlooking the cliff. The street level contains the parking lots and 3 one story lofts. Finally, on level +1 are the entrances to 11 three-story lofts, each one with a roof-top terrace and a wide view towards the ocean.

View this project in Google Maps

* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Lofts Yungay II / Rearquitectura" 06 Apr 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 15 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=55056>

33 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The street elevation is absolutely fabulous.

    The other side, though consists of the same elements is not that pretty. Two rows seems too much and the proportion of color to window area is different.

    Yeah, there is quite a lot of stairs there but thats how this city grew. The road next to it is probably also not wheelchair friendly.

    Overall I would gladly rent an apartment there!

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Felicitaciones, excelente proyecto, bien por Valparaiso, recoge el alma de la edificicación porteña de los cerros.
    jp.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Nice, and very not boring as someone said. Good distinction with colors, which is very convenient….one could tell: I live in the yellow box, second floor etc.
    App are small but well organized, which is much harder to deal with in the meaning of design.
    Truth is that there are too many stairs, not to convenient for the disabled, but you can’t have everything.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Conceptually this project is right on, but I think the execution is lacking due to the constaints of the real world (what else is new, right?). The colors and volumetric designations are absolutely necessary due to the scale of the building and the relative context…however…just think of how the elevation would benefit with a little deviation from the pattern they have established. The charm of these communities is their organic growth, and this (while attractive in my opinion) poses too strict of a regimen on the streetscape. I would bet a large sum of money that this pattern was not the intent and was the product of value engineering, but I’m surprised no one had commented on it thus far.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      I believe that you really dont know the context of valparaiso. This building is a true gem in that city.
      Cheers!

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    As a native of Valparaiso, i must say that the project embodies the character of the city very precisely. The stairs an hills are a must in the city’s topography, nicely done project. quite beautiful and modern while respecting the city’s character.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    the disharmony we see in valparaiso’s architecture is not cleverly captured on this project, i think it looks way too repetitive when you see it on its context. interesting anyway

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

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