My friends Mr S and Ms P wanted a cheap, easy to build beach house with a triangular shaped roof. Their idea was to spend weekends and vacations there, with an intent to possibly move there at some point in the future. They liked the idea to invite family and friends to stay over and who knows, maybe one day they would have kids and it would certinaly be nice for them to bring their friends to play at the weekend. They didn’t know what would happen in the future, but then, who does?
▼项目远观，distant view © Macarena Alvarez
Was it cheap?
The house was relatively cheap for Chilean building standards. Yet, of course not as cheap as the owners would have hoped. The construction cost was approximately 950 USD/sqm. It was as usual necessary to negotiate between technical quality, general comfort and costs. Thus, the project for us was mostly about constantly assessing how to achieve a construction that is different from ordinary vernacular, but with resources typical of it. For each element the question arises, and for each question we were eventually challenged to find a way to decide.
▼项目鸟瞰，aerial view © Macarena Alvarez
Was it easy to build?
Despite (or precisely because of?) the house’s rather simple appearance, the construction process had a few challenges. The team (owners/contractor/architect) were constantly reviewing the original design and discussing adjustments that could ease the construction process and/or the future house’s maintenance. A timber structure supports the house from the outside. Standard materials were used as the envelope: painted fiber concrete, aluminum windows frame and an asphalt membrane on the roof. However, there was particular concern with the installation of a continuous layer of insulation around the house for thermal comfort. The interior is mostly cladded in knotless pinewood, drywalls are used in the smaller rooms and porcelain tiles in bathrooms.
▼西立面，west facade © Macarena Alvarez
▼局部立面，partial facade © Macarena Alvarez
▼木结构支撑房屋 © Macarena Alvarez
the timber structure supports the house
▼铝制窗框，the aluminum windows frame © Macarena Alvarez
And what about the Triangular Shaped Roof?
That was the easy part, however the owners also wanted to avoid structural elements in the interior space for maximum freedom. To achieve this, we added a couple of exterior cantilevered beams over both long façades. On top of that, the beams function as eaves and also establish the house’s form.
▼三角屋顶，the triangular shaped roof © Macarena Alvarez
▼悬臂梁用作屋檐，the beams function as eaves © Macarena Alvarez
▼屋檐细部，details of the eaves © Macarena Alvarez
空间 & 尺度
Spaces & sizes
The overall configuration of the house is made up of a large open floor plan split by two interior modules placed perpendicularly. Each module has a small room and a bathroom inside and produces an upper loft area above it. The house can be simply read as two large spaces, two small spaces, two upper loft areas, and two bathrooms that allow for a number of potential uses. This is the way in which the design responded to the initial indeterminacy of the program – futureproofing the building? If they want, they could set up a huge bedroom and include the other rooms as walk-in closet + en-suite bathroom. They could sleep in a small room and use the larger room as a home-office, a library or a children’s playroom. They could also place the home-office (if they want to have one) at one of the upper loft areas. Leave the other loft area as guest room… etcetera. The hypothesis is that programs are primarily defined by objects, hence just by moving furniture and appliances they will be able to reprogram the different spaces.
▼垂直布置的内部模块 © Macarena Alvarez
the interior module placed perpendicularly
▼阁楼区域，the loft area © Macarena Alvarez
▼采用木墙的大房间 © Macarena Alvarez
the large rooms with wooden walls
▼采用石膏墙的小房间 © Macarena Alvarez
the small room with drywalls
Finally, they got a beach house at a reasonable price, and with the triangular roof they had in mind from day one. Their daughter was born before the house was finished, so we decided to remove both stairs’ first step and leave the upper loft areas out of her reach. They can now work on their garden and let their lives take over the house.
▼细部，details © Macarena Alvarez
▼轴测图，axon © RODRIGO VALENZUELA JEREZ
▼区位图，location © RODRIGO VALENZUELA JEREZ
▼一层平面图，ground floor plan © RODRIGO VALENZUELA JEREZ
▼二层平面图，upper floor plan © RODRIGO VALENZUELA JEREZ
▼南立面图，south elevation © RODRIGO VALENZUELA JEREZ
▼东立面图，east elevation © RODRIGO VALENZUELA JEREZ
▼剖面图，sections © RODRIGO VALENZUELA JEREZ
Location: Tunquén, Región de Valparaíso, Chile
Project area: GFA 120 m2/ Site area 5000 m2
Principal Architect: Rodrigo Valenzuela Jerez
Project Architect: Juan Pablo Valenzuela Ardiles
Drawings: Valentina Varela
Consultants: DEC Ingenieros – Marcelo Sepúlveda (Structural Engineer) Ingeniería JM (Electrical Engineer)
General Contractor: UNIH Arquitectura & Construcción – Eduardo Hirose
Photography: Macarena Alvarez