Named Suarez House after its owners, this property in Chile has been built to replace their original home which was burnt down in a fire. Set in the region of Valparaíso, the house overlooks a natural gorge. The project was undertaken by a local firm called Arq2g Arquitectura.
The replacement dwelling has a footprint of just 538 square feet (50 square meters). Rather than being built into the side of the gorge, it’s built out from it, supported by a series of inclined steel columns, beams and braces. The project was completed back in 2013, the same year that the original house was burned down.
The main body of the home is a timber structure that’s fastened to the steel and the foundations. Its exterior has been finished in bright red wood siding, while the interior features an unusual orange-looking plywood finish, with a lighter wood floor and ceiling.
The floor plan is quite simple – there are two main sections to the home, the shared living area and the more private bedrooms and bathroom. The open plan living room, dining room and kitchen is split over two levels to account for the slope of the hillside.
Windows have been installed generously throughout. Six windows, both large and small, have been included in the main living area to help keep the space bright and to promote natural ventilation. A set of patio doors can be found in the master bedroom that lead out onto a small balcony, overlooking the valley below.
Throughout the rebuild there was a heavy focus on affordability. This house – and several others – were redeveloped under a social housing scheme. The total estimated cost is in the region of 650 CLF, which is about $26,400 at today’s rate.
Photos: Marco Garate