photographer: Guy Wenborne
The commission was received from a real estate firm which wanted the design of a repeatable house, possible of being sited on a slope with 25% average gradient. The offer should be kept within an acceptable range for a standard user, a newly born family requiring an area not higher than 140 square meters.
On the other hand, the stress should be set on the impact these houses should have among the projects package such offer raise. It was explicitly requested to build a house for sale, therefore, massively attractive, which “façade” the target public could quickly be absorbed with.
Notwithstanding, the project location raises as a natural belvedere toward the valley of Chicureo, a zone peripheral to the city of Santiago of growing real estate development and considerably mediocre quality, where the condominium of serialization houses finally owns large green areas. It deals with new neighbourhoods with architectonic imports of every type, where “style” seems to be the worthiest slogan of the offer.
On the contrary, our proposal was a counterproposal to the façade option, an absolute untying of the “pretty house” real estate concept, which image could adorn a web page accounting for a life style. Our proposal was a house without façade, a building to be developed from the street level downwards, rescuing that initial condition of natural “belvedere” over the valley the site proposed. The Guthrie house, therefore, is not just the answer to a housing issue over a medium gradient site, but a critical reflection to the real estate system which final target is to sell “attractive” and at a “good price” houses, built by “goodwill architects”. In other words, sell fashion.
Design team: Felipe Assadi, Francisca Pulido
Client: Susana Guthrie, Rodrigo Pulido