Casa Elqui

For Plan Comùn

While I was working with Plan Comùn I was given the responsibility of finishing of the 2nd round of proposals to b given to the client before construction actually began.
This project was done in the context of a private project for a Client for 2 very simple “gîtes” in the middle of the countryside in the north of Chile, close to Elqui Private programs are concentrated in one single underground space of 5 x 5 meters, making use of the thermal stabilizing mass of the earth, while also containing all the necessary facilities and programs for one or two individuals, storage, etc. The ceiling height of this room is 2.7 meters, with a 1 meter-high window throughout the entire perimeter of the hall, providing natural light, clean air and views to the immediate and extended context. Lighting and sights can be modulated through the use of curtains and opening/closing the windows around the space.
The second lodging is placed next to the river and is very much like the first with the difference that it is not dug into the ground on all sides but on the flank of a hill. Its windows therefore follow the angle of the hill and give a privileged view on the stream at the bottom of the small valley. This unit is placed next to the river crossing the site, over a strip of terrain which is clearly sloped with a 3-meter difference between both levels, which is used to completely bury one of its facades, half of two others and leave one of the sides of the plan completely exposed towards the river, allowing direct views to the water.
The structural layout of both of the lodgings is made out of a reinforced-concrete slab with an external finish of polished concrete, supported by four columns of reinforced concrete. These vertical elements are placed over containing walls which are founded two meters below ground level, generating an underground volume with a waterproof asphalt finish exposed towards the living space.
This way, a low cost and low maintenance private space are articulated with a series of collective facilities on site, always considering the public impact of the intervention.