Residence in Santiago de Chile
Although the site lies on the edge of Santiago de Chile, the unpaved paths and high hedges which surround nearly every parcel of land are bucolic. The architects consider this particular hedge the outer boundary of a house which gradually becomes more solid towards its core and blurs the border between outdoors and indoors. The low budget did not stop them from implementing a complex concept. The respective zones have climatic, structural and functional roles and contribute to the hierarchic differentiation. Four layers – differentiated both with respect to geometry and climatology concept – are stacked upon one another. A rectangular concrete core constitutes the innermost element of the structural and climate-control systems. Embedded in the concrete walls and concrete slab is the gas-operated radiant heating, which, aided by a heat pump, also provides passive cooling in summer. The next layer is more permeable: two bands of shelves constitute the house’s primary structure. These shelve elements are offset: the upper band cantilevers 5.20 m. The third layer, a diaphanous climate skin, is made of polycarbonate sheets supported by drywall studs; the panels rest on the upper band of shelves. Finally, a tent-like skin of polymer fabric cloaks the other layers. Three different weave densities – attuned to the cardinal directions – are employed. The two main spaces are lofty and flooded with light.