Los Molles
Cachagua, V Region, CHILE
Architects: Oltmann Ahlers W. – Oltmann Ahlers G. – Max Núñez – Nicolás del Rio
Location: Cachagua, V Region, Chile
Finished: December 2009
Structural Engineer: Santiago Arias
Technical Inspection: Sebastián Alemparte
Building Contractor: Constructora El Pangue
Built Surface: 280 m²
Materials: Concrete, steel, wood
Photographs: Erieta Attali, Nicolas Sahie, Sergio Pirrone

Without a direct view of the ocean this beach house allowed for a less expected orientation towards the landscape. The open panorama of the Pacific Ocean was replaced with an enclosed orientation towards a group of trees and the coastal hills of the east. 

These pre-existing conditions characterized the site as a contained backyard, which appeared to be an ideal situation with which to take distance from the life of the beach. The requirements of the brief were defined by the “minimum” needs of a large family, indicating that if the program was built on one single volume there would be a little amount of open space; something undesirable according to the qualities of the site.

The plot was divided into five parallel strips, occupying the site in its entire length. The distance with the neighbours was given by the local regulations, which requires having 2 strips of gardens, one towards the North and the other towards the South. The interior programs of the house are organized in two bars, divided by a third strip of garden, four meters wide. This scheme of garden-house-garden-house-garden alternates interior and exterior spaces, which are placed on different levels of the topography so that the roof of one volume can be used as a terrace by the volume above. This simple fragmentation of site and program, and the definition of different levels, produces equivalence between interior and exterior spaces; parallel interior and exterior connections: encouraging a more casual life in the outdoors.

During the Winter months the number of inhabitants diminishes, the temperatures are lower and the house adopts a more introverted lifestyle. Splitting the program allows for the closing of the lower levels that are used by guests in the Summer months, while only the second floor remains open. The house, acquiring the rhythms of a weekend home, absorbs the seasonal variations in the intensity of the program, which define a silent Winter –inside- and an agitated Summer –outside-.

The two levels of the house are built establishing a contrast between a solid podium and a light roof structure. The podium; a concrete platform which attaches the house to the irregular topography, while the roof; built in steel and wood generates a lighter structure that frames specific aspects of the landscape.