Los Molles House / Oltmann Ahlers W. + Oltmann Ahlers G. + dRN Arquitectos

© Nicolas Saieh

Architects: Oltmann Ahlers W. + Oltmann Ahlers G. + dRN Arquitectos
Location: Cachagua,
Collaborators: Eduardo Vivanco, Felipe Camus
Structural Engineer: Santiago Arias
Site Area: 1,000 sqm
Project Area: 260 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Nicolás Saieh & Felipe Camus

Not having a direct view of the ocean allowed us to place this weekend house facing a less expected landscape. The open panorama of the Pacific Ocean has been replaced by an enclosed orientation towards a group of trees and the coastal hills of the east. These preexisting conditions characterized the site as a contained backyard, which appeared to be an ideal situation to take distance from the life of the beach. The requirements of the brief were defined by the “minimum” needs of a large family, indicating that if the program was built in one single volume there would be little open space; something undesirable due to the qualities of the site.

level 01 plan
© Nicolas Saieh

The plot is divided in five parallel strips, occupying the site in its full length. The distance with the neighbors is given by the local norm, which requires having 2 strips of gardens, one towards the north and the other towards the south. The interior programs of the house are organized in two bars, divided by a third strip of garden of four meters of width. This scheme of garden-house-garden-house-garden alternates interior and exterior spaces, which are placed in different levels of the topography so that the roof of one volume can be use as a terrace by the volume above. This simple fragmentation of site and program, and the definition of different levels, produces equivalence between inside and outside spaces; parallel interior and exterior connections: encouraging a more casual life in the outdoors.

© Nicolas Saieh
© Nicolas Saieh

During the winter the number of inhabitants diminishes, the temperatures are lower and the house adopts a more introverted lifestyle. Splitting the program allows to close the lower levels used by the guests on the summer, and keep open only the second floor. The house, acquiring the rhythms of a weekend refuge, absorbs the seasonal variations on the intensity of the program, which define a silent winter –inside- and an agitated summer –outside-.

© Felipe Camus
section H
© Nicolas Saieh

The two levels of the house are built establishing a contrast between a solid podium and a light roof structure. The podium; a platform which attaches the house to the irregular topography, while the roof; built in steel and wood generates a lighter structure that frames specific aspects of the landscape.

Cite: "Los Molles House / Oltmann Ahlers W. + Oltmann Ahlers G. + dRN Arquitectos" 17 May 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 18 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=59820>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    A very good solution to the constricted site, nice project from young guys.
    Impresive cantilever in that V column,


  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Ooh, reeeally impressive. Beautiful formal response to site conditions. The concrete and glass are working so well. But what’s up with the cheap veneer panelled walls & ceiling? That’s so tacky! Otherwise this is an incredible house.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I find the strategy and the use of the materials very nice! But really, the programatic solution is incredibly poor. The picture of the living room ( a couch placed right in front of the built in couch??? whats that about)

    the pictures look great but the floor plans do not!

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      well, the couch is probably mostly used for guest and as living place, but the living room also works as a family room for when they all watch movies or soemthing like that. The built in couch just give some extra seating and living area without making it too crowded. I know there is a family room downstairs, where most of the bedrooms are, but this is very common on holiday homes in Chile; Chileans party a lot, not necessarily in clubs, but at home, and this second family room in an area which is definetly made for the kids and younger ones in the family becomes really handy when the adults don’t want to be disturbed at night, specially taking in account that Chilean people usually hang out and party until 3-5 in the morning. It’s very common.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    the last large section and the last photograph sold me. wow.

    the section is so simple and so beautiful.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I love this crasy, bold, youthful house. this house really has youthful (logical) maximalist and charm.

    good work. respect ;-).

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Trong rules. I think your point is excellent. We should all “go home” and ponder the significance of this incredible comment. Three shouts for Trong: I love Trong, I Love Trong, I love Trong!

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