Plataforma Arquitectura have featured yet another great Chilean design. Described as a "facade-less" house, the property levels off a hillside and takes full advantage of the views. A neat first home for young Chilean families.
Article by: David Basulto [tricky]
Architects: Felipe Assadi y Francisca Pulido - www.felipeassadi.com
Protect initiated: 2005
Location: Chicureo, Santiago, Chile
Plot size: 840 m2
House area: 140 m2
Commissioned by a real estate company, this project's aim was to design a house that they could replicate easily on a hillside with an average slope of 25%. The costs had to remain within reach of the average young family and be no greater than 140 m2.
On the other hand, this assignment emphasised the impact that these houses should have within the body of projects that that were on offer. It was requested, specifically, to create a house that could be sold quickly, therefore, appealing to the masses and whose "facade" was easily accepted by the target audience.
But the envisaged plot for the house is a natural lookout towards Chicureo Valley, an area on the outskirts of the city of Santiago with a growing real estate development of a very mediocre quality, in which the "condominium" of repeatable houses is expected to eventually swallow up all the green areas. New neighborhoods with architectural imports of all kinds are appearing here. Where the 'style' seems to be the only selling point of the houses on offer.
Our proposal, by contrast, was the total opposite to facadism, an absolute disassociation with the concept developer of the "beautiful house" whose image could decorate a lifestyle magazine (Perhaps like Country Life? NICK). It was a house without a facade, a construction that was developed from street level down, rescuing the natural "lookout" to the valley that the site provided. The Casa Guthrie, therefore, is not only the answer to a housing problem on a sloping site, but a reflective criticism of the systematic developer, whose ultimate goal is to sell houses "of good taste" that are "reasonably priced" by "Good architects." In other words, sell fashion.