Architects: Lucas Maino Fernandez
- Area: 210 m²
- Year: 2021
- Design Team: Macarena Gonzalez, Dominga Natho, Daniela Saavedra, Teresita Llodra
- Model: Maira Olivares
- Engineering: Matias Zuñiga
- Construction: CasasLanco
- City: Valdivia
- Country: Chile
Text description provided by the architects. Casa RH (corridor + module) is located kilometers before the entrance to the city of Valdivia, specifically on a hill on the north bank of the Calle Calle river. The site is five thousand square meters and is located inside a forest of native and introduced species.
At the beginning of the project, the client was torn between two conflicting ideas: On the one hand, it seemed essential for him to develop a house that responded to the characteristics of the place, in terms of vegetation preservation, the slope of the land and orientation to take advantage of natural light. While on the other hand, he found the costs and installation time of a prefabricated house to be beneficial.
With the purpose of relating both ideas, it is decided to introduce a prefabricated module to the proposal, which comes from a previous project developed by the office, offering a modular and transportable construction system for the south of Chile.
The module consists of a system of steel structures and SIP panel, with 12 square meters and a height of 275 centimeters at its inner ridge. These dimensions were designed to be transported in trucks and to be able to travel on routes with tunnels and bridges. The gable roof is designed with the purpose of draining the characteristic rain of the area, and distance itself from the traditional parallelepiped of modular systems. With this, it is possible to generate an expressive formal proposal, which responds to local problems efficiently.
In the case of the RH House (corridor + module), the modular system is used for the requirements of the housing program, such as the integrated living-dining room and kitchen, laundry room, covered parking, two bedrooms with a shared bathroom, a master bedroom with walk-in closet and private bathroom, living room, desk, and guest bathroom. The modules are joined successively to form different spatial solutions, which are divided inside with partition walls.
The land is a hill populated with trees, and the house is projected on the space with the least slope of the site. The program is distributed in light of two main criteria; the first of them is to rescue the largest number of old trees, and the second consists of capturing as much natural light as possible within the forest. Under this logic, the different modules are located and connected through a corridor, which acts as the central axis of the project, and is built on the ground.
To build this project, the first thing was to do the foundation and basic framework of each programmatic nave of the house, to then present the prefabricated modules. Then, the central corridor that crosswise connects all the structures was raised. And finally, the interiors were developed. The exterior cladding materials were prepainted black zinc and redwood, which had been removed for the installation of the house. And in its interior, pine and volcanic rock were painted in white and used in the ceilings.
Casa RH (corridor + module) is a unique proposal, thanks to a fraction of custom solutions manages to use a modular system for its own benefit. This hybrid project is born from the specific intentions of the clients, who decided to go beyond the prefabricated and prioritized resolving issues related to orientation, lighting, and respect for the natural environment. This, at the same time, maximizes the advantageous aspects of the modules, by generating efficient and welcoming spaces.